7 May 2010

Australian expert says no TV for toddlers

10:51 pm on 7 May 2010

An academic has told early childhood workers that children aged 2 and under should not be watching any television.

Speaking at the Early Childhood Council's conference in Christchurch, Estelle Irving said toddlers receive absolutely no benefit from watching TV.

Dr Irving says research shows the more TV that babies and toddlers watch, the more likely they are to act violently, become obese or use tobacco, drugs and alcohol.

She says the first two years of a child's life are immensely important for their brain development and a toddler should be spending it interacting with other people.

But Dr Ruth Zanker says no television is unrealistic in today's busy environment, and this approach only makes parents feel guilty.