Infants, Toddlers, and Screen Media

In a technology-driven age, infants’ and toddlers’ exposure to “screen time” is a hot topic. As caregivers in the classroom, we may be pressured by parents who use screen media with their children at home—parents who would like us to help their children acquire technology skills they will need to use later on. But we know that not all screen media are healthy for children and that exposing very young children to screen media can have lasting impacts on their learning. In fact, the effects of media on children’s learning and behavior is so profound that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that no child under the age of two should be exposed to screen media, and that screen time for children over two years should be limited to no more than two hours per day (AAPS 2010). In this article we will view screen time through the lens of infants’ and toddlers’ development to help us make intentional decisions about what is best for children, and to assist in giving parents a healthy alternative to screen media.

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