Is there anything wrong with cutting out electronic media completely?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My parents didn’t have a TV in the house when I was growing up and I didn’t get a stereo until I was a teenager. We read and played outside and I didn’t think I was deprived as a kid. It seems like what is out there now, in terms of violence, sex, and taking risks, is far worse than when I was a kid. Is there anything wrong with just cutting out electronic media completely from my kids’ lives?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Is it OK to use cartoons to keep my 5-month-old busy while I do things around the house?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I have a question about my five month old daughter and TV. She likes to watch E/I cartoons. Is it ok for me to let her watch them when I have things around the house I need to do? If allowing her to watch cartoons is not good for her, what are other activities I can do to keep her occupied so I can get things done? Answer by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Research Toolbox: Recently Published Books

Posted under Research Blog.

  Here is a list of recently published titles of interest on the topics of children, media, and health: Examining Identity in Sports Media by Heather L. Hundley and Andrew C. Billings (2009) This book investigates how various identity groups are framed, treated, affected, and shaped by a ubiquitous sports media, including television, magazines, film,… Read more »

How can I convince networks not to play violent commercials during family programming?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My husband and I are greatly concerned by the commercials that are played on television, especially during “family” events like football or NASCAR races. I have contacted the FCC and NASCAR and they said that I basically have to contact each network one by one to voice my concerns. Where can I find information backing up my concerns that these types of visual images are harmful to my young children?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

Which computer games are good for my 2 year old?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: I’ve introduced my 22-month-old son to a computer program designed for babies that makes shapes and plays a sound every time a button is pushed. Lately, I’ve noticed that he is becoming more thoughtful about it. He used to just bang at the keys, but now he pushes one button at a time and watches what happens on the screen. For his birthday, I’ve been looking for an age-appropriate game that involves more thought. I have found a few games that are marked for 2 years and up, but they seem mostly targeted at kids closer to age 3 than 2. Do you have any suggestions?
Answered by Dr. Michael Rich, The Mediatrician

My daughter got scared by a movie, what should I do?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: Last week, my 2-year-old daughter watched the Disney movie The Jungle Book. She hasn’t stopped talking about how scary the characters were and how she’s having bad dreams about them, but she keeps asking the watch the movie. We decided to put the movie away until she’s a little older. Did we make the right decision? How can we address this subject with her as we move forward?

How can we set good examples of media use for our kids?

Posted under Ask the Mediatrician.

Q: My child is still an infant, so he isn’t using much media yet. But I am realizing that my husband and I are constantly “connected”! Our laptops, cell phones, and iPods are always on, mostly for work reasons. How should we limit our own media use to set the best example for our children?