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News Link • Entertainment: Television (TV)

Screen Strain: Why The TV Your Kids See Does Matter

•, By Kate Gammon
Screens are everywhere: not just in our homes, but our roads, planes, cars and restaurants. So what's a parent to do, in the face of the 2011 station from the Academy of Pediatrics recommending zero screen time for tots under two?

I'm not the only one thinking about this question. "We're technologizing childhood today in a way that's unprecendented," says Yale sociologist and pediatrician Nicholas Christakis in his 2011 TED Talk.  He points to a segment of Baby Einstein where there are 7 scene changes in 20 seconds, something that's confusing to adults, but particularly confounding to babies. 

Christakis found that while television time under 3 raised the likelihood of attention problems later in life, that risk didn't exist if the young kids were watching slow-based educational programs rather than frenetic entertainment or violent progams, which have even quicker cuts and pacing than cartoons. The typical newborn brain is 333 grams in size ? and it triples during the first two years of life. That astounding brain development doesn't happen at any other point in human life ? making those early years particularly crucial.

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