videos, infant

Despite advertising claims or implications that viewing "educational" or entertainment DVDs will make babies into "little Einsteins," the findings of research1 are just the opposite. Babies evaluated with a standardized measure of language development were found to have significantly decreased language development when tested at age 2. Reading to children or daily storytelling increased children's test scores significantly. While this initial study should be confirmed by other independent researchers (as is scientifically proper), it reinforces the notion that human infants and toddlers learn language best from interacting with people, especially their parents. The surprise about this finding is only that anyone should find it surprising.

1. Zimmerman FJ, Christakis DA, Meltzoff AN. Associations Between Media Viewing and Language Development in Children Under Age Two Years, J Pediatrics 2007;151:364-368.

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