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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) just released two new policy statements, “Media Violence,” and “Impact of Music, Music Lyrics, and Music Videos on Children and Youth.” The authors include recommendations for parents and pediatricians to take an active role in monitoring and controlling what their children are watching and listening to. Here are some of the recommendations:

Media Violence:

  • Ask at least two media-related questions at each well-child visit: how much TV is the child watching, and is there a TV or Internet connection in the bedroom? 
  • When heavy media usage is detected, evaluate the child for aggressive behaviors, fears, or sleep disturbances.
  • Suggest alternatives to media, such as sports, interactive play, and reading.
  • Encourage parents to follow the AAP recommendations on media use, including prohibiting media in bedrooms and limiting screen time to one to two hours a day, and providing no screen media at all for infants and toddlers under two years old. 

Impact of Music:

  • Become familiar with the role of music in the lives of children and adolescents and identify music preferences that could be clues to emotional conflict or problems.
  • Become familiar with the literature linking music to behavioral problems.
  • Encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring their youngsters' music and music video watching.
  • Parents and the public should be aware of and use the music industry's parental advisory warning of explicit content.

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