7 Healthcast: Sesame Street
Starting today, new DVDs called Sesame Beginnings are out in stores. The DVDs are aimed at children under two and are meant to encourage active learning through parent-child interaction.
Katerina Moheban would let her daughter, Sophia watch the DVDs. She says, "I feel fine putting her in front of the TV with Elmo."
These new DVD's from Sesame Workshop, however, go against the American Academy of Pediatrics "no-TV" policy for children under 2 written in 1999.
Dr. Michael Rich is the director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston. He says, "A six month old won't understand this material. They will stare at the bright screen and be attracted to the noises."
He also says the recommendation makes sense. "The focus should be on no TV. There really is no evidence that children gain any benefit from TV at those ages. And with the growing evidence that it causes some harm to normal brain development; why do it?" wonders Dr. Rich.
And while some critics question giving children DVD's to watch, many parents think it's ok to let them watch these kinds of shows. Paul Bogrett says his daughter loves DVDs and learns from them. He says, "They learn a lot from some of the DVDs out there. They're very educational."
Sesame Workshop issued this statement:
"Based on research that shows that young children learn best when experiences are shared with a loved one, these DVDs - Sesame Beginnings - are specially designed to help parents and care-givers encourage their child's curiosity and interest in learning during everyday interactions.
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