Kids use media for almost 8 hours a day — Now what?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Yesterday the Kaiser Family Foundation released a report detailing just how much media kids are using. Dr. Michael Rich, The MediatricianSM, was interviewed on NBC Nightly News, and the Center on Media and Child Health sent out the following in email to parents today.

Can toddlers learn sign language by watching DVDs?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: In an NPR interview, you stated that children under the age of 30 months do not learn anything about language from TV programs, but I disagree. My 17-month-old daughter has watched a baby signing language DVD series and now knows about 80 signs. I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Response to controversy over violent video game answer

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Recently, I answered a question from a mother asking whether she should purchase the video game Call of Duty for her son. When the answer was featured on Thrive, the Children’s Hospital Boston blog, it ignited controversy and spurred many gamers to comment. Here is my response.

Is playing violent video games a healthy way to deal with tragedy?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My nephew and niece’s mother died due to a tragic accident. She was shot by her 13-year-old son. How can I tell if they are dealing with this tragedy in a healthy way? He continues to play violent video games with graphic shooting and killing people. Is this normal behavior?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician