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It’s Official, Watching TV is Bad for Your Baby’s Brain

By Bridget Tyler on December 10th, 2010

Parents have been saying it since the television set was invented, “if you watch that thing all day, it’s going to turn your brain into mush.”  Well, according to a new study, television actually will turn your brain into mush – the study claims that watching TV stunts infant neurological development.

According to the new study, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent medicine, babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at fourteen months, especially if they’re watching programs intended for adults and older children.  The kids the study followed all had scores in the normal range, but tots who watched sixty minutes or more of TV a day had developmental scores one third lower than their colleagues who watched less than that or none at all.

This new study followed 259 lower income families in New York, many of whom consider Spanish their primary language at home. Other studies examining higher income families have also come to the same conclusion: TV sets very young children back developmentally.

It may not be the TV itself that is reaching out and rotting your baby’s brain – infants who are “watching” television meant for adults and older siblings are not being played with and taught new things by the adults and older siblings who are almost certainly making these viewing choices.

Whatever the cause, this new data seems to back up the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that babies watch no TV at all until they are two years old.

  • http://www.odinistpressservice.com/2010/12/10/it%e2%80%99s-official-watching-tv-is-bad-for-your-baby%e2%80%99s-brain/ It’s Official, Watching TV is Bad for Your Baby’s Brain | Odinist Press Service

    [...] at fourteen months, especially if they’re watching programs intended for adults and older children.  The kids the study followed all had scores in the normal range, but tots who watched sixty [...]

  • Pwll

    We didn’t have a tv until my daughter was at least walking. I don’t remember exactly when we got one. Then we limited the amount of time she could watch. She turned out to be bright and beautiful! Guess we got that one right, anyway!

  • Stacy

    The study itself (http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/164/1 2/1105) says “approximately one-third SD lower developmental scores” but this article says “developmental scores one-third lower”. I think SD is short for standard deviation, which if I’m not mistaken means something different. If you look at the scores themselves they seem to be about 4% lower, not 33%. Can someone with better knowledge of statistics please explain?

  • asad

    my child is 3 years but still cannot speak properly. Doctor say its a case of delayed speech. I think TV is the culprit.

  • http://shoestringtightrope.com/archives/324 TV: OFF (and Where I’ve Been)

    [...] “According to the new study, published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent medicine, babies who watch TV are more likely to have delayed cognitive development and language at fourteen [...]

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