July Newsletter - Screen Time for Babies?
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This month’s newsletter features a colleague and friend of mine, Dr. Rochelle Mozlin. Her blog on the COVD website was so great and pertinent, that I obtained approval to share this blog with you.
 

Screen Time for Babies?

by Dr. Rochelle Mozlin

Don't get me wrong...I love technology. I own a laptop, an e-reader and a smart phone. I use these devices in both my personal and professional lives. I also recognize that it is appropriate for children to learn how and when to use these devices. Information and collaboration are an incredibly powerful combination. But like so many other things in a complex world, there should be guidelines and supervision, because too much of a good thing can have adverse consequences.

Children aged 0-8 years spend an average of 3.25 hours per day using media (TV, video gaming consoles, computers, tablets, smart phones, etc.). For children 8-18 years old, that jumps to an average of 7.5 hours a day. Teens average sending over 100 texts per day. The shorter wavelength of light emitted by these screens suppresses melatonin and disrupts sleep cycles. Children do not get enough sleep and excessive screen time makes it worse. Screen time is related to delayed bedtime, shorter sleep duration, sleep disorders, and daytime fatigue. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE.

Do you want to support the zombie apocalypse by purchasing a computer gamer designed specifically for babies? Screen time for babies is a bad idea. And as if that isn't bad enough,AT&T has partnered with BabyFirst to develop a "magical child development app" that uses not one screen but two! "Now they will be able to create images using an iPhone or iPad and see their creations come to life on the TV screen." An entertainment system that engages babies with 2 screens is a super bad idea.

Fischer Price has also jumped into this market, as have other companies.

A baby's visual system is not designed to shift attention from near to far distances. It is designed to focus at relatively close distances to encourage babies to interact with PEOPLE, not TVs. A baby's visual system is designed to interact with 3-dimensional objects within arms-reach, not a flat constantly changing image.

I have no idea how much it would cost to provide a baby with this magical TV experience, but whatever the cost, I can think of 100 better ways to spend that money to entertain babies and young children. In fact, I can think of 100 better ways to entertain babies and young children that cost nothing.

Use papers and crayons to create images. Spin them around, hang them up, look at them through your legs. Go for a walk. Tickle your baby. Turn up the music. Dance with your baby. Go to the playground. Dig in the dirt. Throw pebbles in a puddle. Visit the library. Blow bubbles. Kick a ball. Put the ball in a box. Take the ball out of the box. Put the box on top of the ball. Get a bigger ball. You get the idea. Get started by unplugging.

Click here if you would like to tell AT&T to pull the plug on the BabyFirst U-verse app.

Click here to read the Policy Statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics on2013_Policy_Pediatrics-media.
 

About Dr. Rochelle Mozlin

Dr. Mozlin is an Associate Professor at the State University of New York, State College of Optometry. A graduate of the New England College of Optometry, she also has a Masters degree in public health. She has published numerous articles and lectured on topics related to developmental vision, optometric education and public health. She is a Fellow of both the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD) and the American Academy of Optometry.
 

About COVD

COVD is a non-profit, international membership association of eye care professionals including optometrists, optometry students, and vision therapists. Established in 1971, COVD provides board certification for optometrists and vision therapists who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art services in:
  • Behavioral and developmental vision care
  • Vision therapy
  • Visual rehabilitation


If you are interested in child development, don’t miss the series: Vision Development Through Edina’s Eyes. Enjoy, and please send me your thoughts!

Upcoming Events

 

Kids Can’t Read if They Can’t See!

Experience Vision Therapy

Tuesday,
July 22, 2014
6:30 - 7:30 P.M.

Speakers: Lynn F. Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO & Staff
 

Experience the Power of Visualization

Tuesday,
Sept. 30, 2014
6:30 - 7:30 P.M.

Speaker: Lynn F. Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO
 

Do 3D Movies Make You Sick?

Experience Vision Therapy

Tuesday,
Oct. 28, 2014
6:30 - 7:30 P.M.

Speakers: Lynn F. Hellerstein, O.D., FCOVD, FAAO & Staff

These events are FREE and open to the public. Seating is limited. Please call 303-850-9499 to reserve your place.

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Just a reminder that our offices have moved. Our new office is located on the southeast corner of Orchard and Quebec in the Solarium building. Parking can be accessed from Quebec or Orchard.

 

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