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APA Pediatrician Changes His Mind on No Screen Time for Babies

Little girls with tablet
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, a co-author of the strict APA guidelines recommending no screen time for kids under 2 years old, has changed his tune: He said that kids could actually benefit from between a half hour to an hour of screen time each day on interactive devices.

“I believe that the judicious use of interactive media is acceptable for children younger than the age of 2 years,” Christakis stated this week in the prestigious journal JAMA Pediatrics, according to Today.

Why the change in stance? Christakis said that his and the APA's recommendations came before the arrival of the iPad and other tablet devices that command a truly interactive relationship between the user (in this case the child) and the screen. “The statement was drafted with no knowledge that such a device would ever exist," Christakis said.

The key, though, is that the apps used are educational and interactive, and not for watching TV.

That said, Christakis wants to make sure this encouragement of a new device doesn't get out of hand: “I do hope parents will take to heart that they should put some limits on it,” he said. “This is not just to allow their child to play willy-nilly for hours and hours.”

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