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Health & Parenting

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TV for Tots?

Experts talk about the pros and cons of letting very young children watch TV.

TV Viewing for Toddlers continued...

Exactly how TV viewing can cause attention problems is not fully understood, Haller says. "It is posited that when children are very young, their brains are still getting wired about how the world looks and sounds.

"TV comprises high impact images that are discontinued from one instance to another. Boom, you are in France! Boom, you are in England!" Haller says. "People move from place to place seemingly by magic and the young brain may become wired to expect novelty, bright colors, and changes in the environment that happen rapidly -- which can lead to problems being able to sit, and pay attention, and focus."

But the issue is not black and white to Haller. "One of the good things is that if you put kids in front of the TV, sit and watch with them, you can talk to kids about what they are seeing and you can watch how they are interacting with it.

"The TV should not be an electronic babysitter," he says.

So what's a parent to do?

"I would say that if you are going to put a kid in front of a TV set, BabyFirstTV is better than MTV, CNN, ESPN, or even a major network," says Haller.

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