New Study Confirms Videos Are No Substitute For Human Interaction For Babies
Aug 13, 2007
|CLASP's recent work on infants and toddlers emphasizes the importance of caregiving relationships and quality child care for babies. A new study reconfirms the importance of relationships and interactions for infants and toddlers. As reported in the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek, the Journal of Pediatrics study has found that videos such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby marketed as educational for infants and toddlers may actually inhibit language development. The study found that for every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old watched these videos, they knew six to eight fewer words than other children. Parents in Washington and Minnesota participated in the survey, which asked about video usage and baby vocabularies using 90 common baby words. Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the survey found that 32% of the babies were shown the videos, and 17% of those were shown them for more than an hour a day.
Dr. Christakis is concerned babies are getting the wrong kind of stimulation. "There is an assumption that stimulation is good, so more is better," he says. "But that's not true; there is such a thing as overstimulation." His other work has found links between television viewing and later reduced attention span. "Even watching a live person speak to you via television is not the same thing as having that person in front of you," says Christakis.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no television for children under 24 months.