Saturday, May 12, 2007

Brainwashing Babies

In America this week, two advertising executives launched a round-the-clock television channel aimed at babies. At an age when their brains are just forming the ability to understand human beings, infants are now being targeted for hours of screen time. Their parents are being told that "leading experts" say it's good for them.
Links continue to grow between TV and attention deficit disorder, childhood obesity, poor acquisition of language and aggression. Yet parents seem increasingly unwilling to limit their children's screen time.

"Ten years ago," says David Burke, White Dot's British Director "the world was shocked to hear of infants tied to their chairs and ignored in a Chinese orphanage. Looking at the launch of BabyFirst TV, I wonder why we got so upset. Did they just need better quality programmes?"

American Academy of Pediatrics says: "During the first two years of life children need good, positive interaction with other children and adults. Too much television can negatively affect early brain development. This is especially true at younger ages, when learning to talk and play with others is so important."

The Academy based their advice on studies such as one at the University of Washington in 2004, showing that early television exposure is associated with attentional problems at age 7. Before that, work in 1996 by Dr Sally Ward of the Speech, Language and Hearing Centre in London showed that background noise from television and the attendant lack of interaction with parents leads to delayed acquisition of speech in young children.

New Baby TV Channel



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