IDIOT BOX

Doctors: No TV for Children Under 2

Sorry, Elmo. It turns out that kids might not be able to tell you how to get to Sesame Street after all. In a study released Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children under the age of 2 not watch any television to avoid the risk of harming their language development. But the study could fall on deaf ears: 90 percent of parents admit to putting their babies in front of some sort of television or computer screen. The AAP has been warning parents about the dangers of TV watching for youngsters since 1999. However, “clearly, no one is listening to this message,” lamented one pediatrician and academy member. “When the TV is on, the parent is talking less. There is some scientific evidence that shows that the less talk time a child has, the poorer their language development is.” This is what they call “secondhand TV,” and the academy urges parents to talk and play with their children instead of exposing them to distracting media.