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TV For Toddlers? It's Happening47:10Download

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TV and screen time for babies. Toddlers. It's so tempting. So available. But is it a good idea?

Characters and logo from BabyFirstTV , a television and digital entertainment group specifically targeting infants and babies younger than two years old. (BabyFirstTV / Facebook)
Characters and logo from BabyFirstTV , a television and digital entertainment group specifically targeting infants and babies younger than two years old. (BabyFirstTV / Facebook)

We live in the time of screens. TVs, iPads, smartphones. Screens all over the place, including in front of babies and toddlers. The standing recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against screen time for children under two years old.  ut look around. We’ve babies teething on iPhone cases. TV screens lined up over car seats.  A whole cable channel just for babies. Babies watching parents with their eyes glued to screens. Parents so tempted to hand the little one an app. This hour On Point: screen time for babies, toddlers.  What’s actually OK?
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Joe Flint, media and entertainment reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@jbflint)

Dr. Ari Brown, practicing pediatrician and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics' report on media usage for infants. (@baby411)

Dr. Dimitri Christakis, practicing pediatrician and director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Environment at Seattle Children's Hospital. (@Dimitri007)

Diane Levin, professor of early childhood development at Wheelock College. Author of "Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood." (@dianelevin)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: It’s Really Here: TV for Babies — "The notion of targeting infants is controversial. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under the age of two, arguing that children learn best by interacting with people. But that may be wishful thinking. A Kaiser Family Foundation study found most babies are watching some television."

Newsweek: Screen Rules For Your Baby -- "This new outlook on screen media flies in the face of years of American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, which advised against any screen time for children younger than 2 years old. Based on the premise that screen time cuts into real-world interaction between parent and child, the AAP’s recommendations failed to take into account the possibility of screen time shared between the two, the kind afforded by communal use of a laptop, iPad or other device."

Haaretz: Baby boon — "With viewers in 10 million households around the world and an annual revenue of $10 million, it would be easy to assume that behind television channel BabyFirstTV stands a media giant such as Disney or Warner Bros. The truth, however, is different: The founders and directors of the channel are two Israelis in their 30s, who up until a few years ago knew very little about the television industry in general, and about American television in particular."

This program aired on April 1, 2015.

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