New Report Warns Against Screen Time for Young Children

A report released this week by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicates that “media—both foreground and background—have potentially negative effects and no known positive effects for children younger than 2 years” (p. 4).

And it’s not just television that’s at issue. According to this New York Times article, the AAP recommends limiting screen time of all types — computers, electronic games, and televisions turned on for background noise — recognizing that screen time can reduce opportunities for educational and enriching activities that are important for healthy development. The AAP recommendation actually is less restrictive than its previous policy, in an attempt to be realistic about screen use in today’s households. Some research shows that between 40 and 60 percent of American households report having a TV on for much of the day, the article notes.

Here in California, our foundation’s 2010 Parent Survey (at right) asked about parental perceptions of media use on children. Parents of more than half of children, 57%, believed that media (TV, movies, music) had a positive impact on their children, whereas parents of 24% thought the media had a negative effect. Teens ages 14‐17 were more likely to have parents who thought media had a negative effect than young children ages 0‐5 (33% vs. 10%, respectively).

For more research and information about the influence of media on children, see’s Research & Links section.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 3:53 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. says:

    Follow Up–The New York Times released this article on a similar study on 10/25/11:
    “Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children, Study Finds”