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The TV, as a virtual babysitter

The TV, as a virtual babysitter


According to a study published in the journal "Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine," many parents ignore the warnings of pediatricians who claim that television is causing serious effects on children's brain development. 40% of babies up to three months old watch TV daily, and the percentage reaches 90% for children up to two years old. The survey was conducted by the Tamaki Foundation and the American National Institute for Mental Health and included 1,000 parents with children between two months and two years old. 23% of surveyed parents confessed that the TV has a relaxing effect on their children, while 21% claim that they use the TV as a virtual babysitter.
Frederick Zimmerman, a researcher at the University of Washington and lead author of the study, has shown that over-TV before the age of three diminishes attention and promotes aggressive behavior. Arlette Streri, professor at Paris-Descarters University, specialist in child development psychology, explains. At this age, the TV offers two-dimensional images that their brain cannot analyze. More serious is that many parents are convinced of the cognitive virtues of the TV, 68% saying they left their babies in front of the screen without being interested in the subject and the quality of the programs.
(Magda Marincovici)
Read the whole article in: National Journal
May 16, 2007