US monitoring body the American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its research on the effects of TV-watching on toddlers, concluding that there are "potentially negative effects and no known positive effects" from plonking baby down in front of the box.
The main point of the research is that, before they reach the age of two years old, children have literally no idea what's going on on the TV. It' s just one enormous great hypnotising light they happen to enjoy staring at, which doesn't actually teach them anything of use. Everything is ITV 1 to a child.
There are other issues, too. When the TV is on everyone's quiet and staring at it, meaning less interaction time with the parents, less playing with toys and less movement. Which are three of the most critical parts of child development.
Also, using the TV as a sleeping aid is frowned upon. The studies concluded that kids who fall asleep in front of the TV can end up sleeping a little worse and with more interruptions, which may have knock-on effects in other development areas. [Wired]