Many media outlets picked up the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) news release on Monday. (Link below.) I am not optimistic, however, that viewing patterns will shift as a result of this small study. The AAP recommends no TV viewing for children under the age of 2 and limited viewing for children over that age.
Researchers determined that among sixty children (four year olds) the “combination of fantastical events and the fast pacing” of SpongeBob SquarePants resulted in lower functioningh. A Nickelodeon spokesman responded that SpongeBob is produced for 6-11 year olds, not preschoolers.
I agree with points made in the research commentary, written by pediatrician Dr. Dimitri Christakis:
- quality and quantity of programming matters
- children watch too much TV and begin watching at too early an age (four months)
- parents who use TV as a babysitter to calm children find that after viewing, children have even more pent-up energy