Building on those recent, revelatory studies suggesting that sitting around and watching TV is less healthy for you than exercising, eating right, and the occasional raising of a barn with your kinfolk, the American Academy of Pediatrics has once again urged parents to limit the time that children under the age of 2 spend in front of a television—or any other kind of screen, really—and instead actually interact with them, even if they're exhausted or just trying to get a couple hours of peace. While the Academy's warning still falls squarely within the “yeah, yeah” branch of science, it’s actually a less draconian request than a similar recommendation it made in 1999: At that time, the group called for a total ban on TV watching for infants and toddlers, suggested that parents be asked to fill out a “media history” report for doctor’s visits, and considered camping outside of your home so you could be greeted each morning with a sad, scolding shake of the head as you just try to get to work.
Today the Academy says it recognizes that “video screens are everywhere now,” but it also reminds parents that “educational programming” is a total misnomer for children in the early stages of development who “have no idea what is going on” when it comes to watching videos, and not even just Yo Gabba Gabba!. Instead, they encourage way more one-on-one interactions with your children until they’re old enough to spend the rest of their lives staring at a screen up to the moment they drop dead, just like Mommy and Daddy. So yeah, get on that.
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