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Does television impair child development?
A new study investigates the link between TV viewing and the way kids develop language skills
 

Here’s more fuel for the “debate over whether television impairs children's language development,” said Liz Szabo in USA Today. A study in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, “found that parents and children virtually stop talking to each other when the TV is on,” so kids “ages 2 months to 4 years” who watch a lot of TV develop language skills slower than those who don’t.

“Nothing can occupy a child quite like television,” said Alice Park in Time, and this study shows that “using the boob tube as a babysitter has its price,” as it “tends to decrease babies' likelihood of learning new words, talking, playing, and otherwise interacting with others.” At the end of the day, nothing “beats the most basic form of bonding—a good old-fashioned one-on-one powwow” with your kid.

But sometimes parents need to “take five,” said Madeline Holler in Strollerderby, and a few minutes in front of the TV can’t be that bad for kids. And “earlier studies show that babies who watch a lot of TV catch up to their more sanctimonious peers by 16 months,” so in the long run, it may not matter much.

 

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