How do swear words factor in to a movie’s MPAA rating?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I let my 13-year-old watch the movie “Once” and I didn’t understand why it was rated R; there was some bad language but no irresponsible display of risky behavior like so many PG-13 movies I’ve seen. How do movie ratings work?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

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