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Technology & Toddlers

November 8, 2011, 6:12 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Technology & Toddlers
SIOUX FALLS, SD - In today's technological world, there are a lot of electronics and TV shows aimed at children. But are they really helpful in educating those under the age of two? The American Academy of Pediatrics says "no."

At 18-months old, Gabriel Krejci is more interested in playing with the dog than watching television.

"He'll like a commercial and that's it, and then he'll go back to whatever he's doing," mother Samantha Krejci said.

But that's not all bad. A new policy statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics says you should turn off the TV because there are better ways to educate your toddler than electronics.

"I don't think it really helps them. If anything, it may make them somewhat dependent on that kind of multimedia presentation," Sanford Pediatrician Edward Mailloux said.

Dr. Mailloux says even though knowledge of electronics can be helpful for adults in today's workforce, toddlers who use things like applications on a cell phone aren't actually getting any kind of benefit.

"Toddlers are just here, there and everywhere. They just go from one thing to another. They don't have the attention span to really benefit from sitting in front of a TV or a DVD or a computer screen," Mailloux said.

Mailloux says instead, parents should read to their children.

"We know, and we have very good studies that show that reading to your child from birth to two-years old and beyond is extremely helpful," Mailloux said.

And that's exactly what the Krejcis have in mind.

"He likes to read books and listen to music. So, that's pretty much all he likes," Krejci said.

Dr. Mailloux says some electronics, such as computers and ipads, can be helpful though for those older than two.

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