The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) is once again urging parents that children under 2 should not be watching TV or spending time with screen media, while acknowledging that most parents ignore this advice.
This is the first time the AAP has updated its policy on screen time since 1999, when the group first recommended kids under 2 don’t watch TV and that parents limit screen time for older children.
In this newest policy the AAP tells parents that screen media has absolutely no benefits for children under 2, but has potentially negative effects.
The AAP research found that 90 percent of parents with children under 2 say they use some type of electronic media. The AAP says parents are being fooled into thinking some of these materials are educational.
The AAP warns that screen time takes away from valuable unstructured playtime. The report also warns of possible adverse effects of screen time for children including developmental delays in language and attention problems. The AAP warns media use has also been found to be associated with sleep issues, obesity and aggressive behaviors.
Waldorf schools have long been in the forefront of encouraging limiting or eliminating screen time for children. Waldorf education realizes the negative developmental impacts of screen time, while also recognizing that media interferes with imagination and that images from screens interferes with the learning process.