Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH (Editor-in-Chief, JAMA Pediatrics, Director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry, and Adjunct Professor of Health Services, University of Washington School of Medicine, Chief Science Officer, Children and Screens), reviews why infant screen use before 18 months is not recommended at #AskTheExperts webinar “Zero to Five: Eeny, Meeny, Mighty Tech” on February 9, 2022.
[Dimitri Christakis]: The recommendation of the academy that I endorse is that there be no screen use before 18 months. And I want to talk about why. The simple reason is that there is no evidence, based on many studies that have been done by many scientists, including members of this panel, that children acquire anything meaningful from screen use before the age of 18 months. It doesn’t mean that they can’t interact with them. They surely can. You’ve probably seen your child or your toddler engage a screen of some kind in some way. But what we found is that they don’t transfer any of that knowledge to the real world, that if they play, for example, a Lego assembly app on an iPad and then are given Legos, the identical Legos that are represented two dimensionally on an iPad, they start all over. They don’t transfer any of the knowledge from their interaction with the screen. So to me, what that means is that the time they’re spending on a screen isn’t well spent because we know that children need to spend time engaging the world in which they actually live.
View the full webinar
What happens to the foundational cognitive, psychosocial, emotional and physical developmental needs during the critical first five years that may be challenged or enhanced by media?
Devorah Heitner, PhD
Vicki Harrison, MSW
Susan F. Tapert, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair; Associate Director and Site PI, ABCD; Co-Director and Site PI, NCANDA; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant
Sheri Madigan, PhD
Associate Professor; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant
Stephanie Reich, PhD
Professor; Recipient of Children and Screens COVID Research Grant