What effect can “secondhand TV” have on infants?

The American Academy of Pediatrics updated its guidelines on media use for children under age 2, and raised the issue of “secondhand TV.” While repeating its original advice from 1999 that infants should not watch television, it also addressed the issue of televisions being on in the background for the first time.

“Many times with television, although there is a lot of educational programming that is out there, the term ‘educational’ can be used very loosely,” Paul Melchert, MD, a pediatrician at Children’s, told Fox 9 last night. “Kids under age 2 seem to learn better from interactive free play, exploring things on their own and at their own pace.”

Watch Dr. Melchert’s full interview above, and read more about the study in the Star Tribune.

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