Can you tell me more about the recommended 1 hour media limit?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: When we hear that children should not be exposed to more than 1 hour of screen time per day, does that mean that all media are created equal? For example, are watching a movie, watching an age-appropriate TV show, and playing an interactive children’s website game all the same? What are the concerns about and benefits of each?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, the Mediatrician

Can I blame the “Slut List” on all the sex in the media?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I’ve been hearing about the high school in NJ where older girls are putting freshman girls’ names on a “slut list”—and the worst part is that being on the list is considered a good thing! I can’t help thinking that all the sex in the media is to blame for girls thinking it’s a badge of honor, but maybe I’m overreacting. I want to talk to my 13 year old daughter about this, but what should I say?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

How can I get my husband to stop playing violent video games in front of our toddler?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My husband loves to play X-Box and used to play in his home office with the door wide open. My toddler would saunter in and watch him play on occasion. However, I can tell that my husband doesn’t see any negative consequences of playing games with loud noises and lots of physical contact. What can I do? Do you have any studies I can use to back up my argument?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Are American Girl dolls a better choice for my niece than the more sexualized Barbies or Bratz?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I wondered if the Center has any research on the American Girls phenomenon. Unlike Barbies and Bratz, these dolls are not sexualized, and they also have connections to history and culture through each doll’s storybook. I am guessing that they are probably a better alternative for playtime fantasies (at least for families who can afford them — the dolls cost $95 each). But they are also linked to all kinds of merchandising, encouraging families to buy accessories like furniture, clothes, and even pets to go along with them (also pricey). What do you think about the pros and cons? My niece is 8 years old and I am thinking ahead to the holiday season.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician