October 24, 2016
Written by Anya Kamenetz, NPR
This article originally appeared on NPR.
If there’s one rule that most parents cling to in the confusing, fast-changing world of kids and media, it’s this one: No screens before age 2.
As of today, that rule is out the window.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, which first issued that recommendation back in 1999, has extensively updated and revised its guidelines for children and adolescents to reflect new research and new habits.
The new guidelines, especially for very young children, shift the focus from WHAT is on the screen to WHO else is in the room. And in doing so, they raise some intriguing points about the future of learning from media.
For babies younger than 18 months, AAP still says no screens at all are the best idea — with one notable exception: live video chat. Surveys indicate that families already popularly believe that “Facetime doesn’t count,” or at least that the benefit of virtual visits with grandparents or other relatives outweighs the potential cost of exposing babies to the laptop or phone.