Warning on iPad screen time for kids

Stuff co.nz 30 October 2011
Parents increasingly rely on tablet computers, such as iPads, to educate and entertain children but experts warn an overload could stunt a baby’s brain development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this month recommended children under two have minimal, or no, exposure to screens.

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills said he backed these recommendations for New Zealand parents.

“We’ve always suspected screen time for little children wasn’t beneficial, but this evidence clearly demonstrates that’s true. Children under two don’t understand what’s on screen and don’t benefit.”

He said purchasing education videos and iPad applications for children aged under two was pointless.

The long-term effects of tablet-use among older children are not known. Wills said if use is kept to a minimum and content age-appropriate, it probably would not harm older children.

NetSafe executive director Martin Cocker advised against the increasing trend among parents to use tablets as a babysitter.