Stuff co.nz 13 July 2011
Like many babies, 11-month-old Maya Rouse watches one to three hours of television each day – but there is mounting evidence that even so-called educational programmes may cause problems in later life.
The Office of the Children’s Commissioner and the Brainwave Trust have collated overseas research on the subject in response to the growing presence of television in babies’ lives. The full report will be issued by Brainwave in the next week.
Mum Aleisha Franklin lets Maya watch the Disney channel in the mornings before daycare and about an hour of television when she comes home in the evenings. Maya also watches two or three hours a day in the weekends.
“It is probably more than she should be watching and sometimes I get a bit worried. When she is watching Disney Junior it seems to be vaguely educational so I think in the long run it probably helps.”
Ms Franklin said she often watched television with her daughter. “She loves anything with colours and movement. When we watch the rugby she watches it with us, and she also likes fishing shows.”
Children’s Commissioner and paediatrician Russell Wills said there was no evidence that television had any positive value for a baby, but there was mounting evidence of the negative effects.