Should Or Not Ban Your Young Kids From Media Screens?
Well, Regulators and program makers disagree about whether young kids should be on restrictions from using tablets or watching Television and smartphones. The Parents where being urged in France not to allow children under three to watch television and US pediatricians also favor a total ban on screen time for at least 18 months.
Carole Bienaime-Besse, who is part of France’s television regulator CSA, said Sunday that overexposure of infants and toddlers to digital materials had become a worrisome “public health problem.”
“People recognizes that fact that screens can cause addiction even among very young children, and in severe cases autistic problems, what is called virtual autism,” he said.
“Silicon Valley also knows that there are many educational applications for babies, but in the end the results are counterproductive.”
Studies show that “children overexposed to them are the ones who find it most challenging in school,” he added.
France has said to ban its broadcasters from targeting children under three in 2008 and has also blocked the release of BabyTV owned by Fox.
However, some program makers insist that bans do not work, especially with so many parents using television and gadget to “care” for their children.
“It’s admirable, but probably unrealistic,” trying to keep young children away from the screens, said Alice Webb, who heads the BBC children’s arm, CBBC, and the CBeebies network for preschoolers.
“This is a tide that cannot get ahead,” he told top television executives Sunday at the MIPJunior meeting in Cannes on the French Riviera.
That said, the British public network is so concerned about the fact that digital “wild and wild west” children are growing as it is holding a world summit in December to try to unite heads on how they could be better served and protected.
“We need to have this conversation now because we do not want to tell ourselves in 10 years, ‘What did we do to our children?'” Webb told AFP.
She said that the CBeebies targeted the children from two onwards, “but we know that younger children are watching. So we must be realistic about it, and keep those kids in mind” knowing that television or a tablet can be her “nanny.”
“We have games and applications that help children develop the cognitive skills that a two-year-old needs. It is about learning on the screen and in the real world at the same time, it is not a whole, and it is about moderation “Webb argued.
For older kids, Webb said it was “impossible to think we can control what happens online.”
She said that the only answer was “to teach children what is and what is not for them … how to promote critical thinking and how to cope when they see things they do not want”.
She said the BBC is establishing a new online resource called “Own It” to help children cope with the dangers and challenges of social networking.
While Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook claim that only teens over 13 can enter their networks, Webb said that in the UK, 75% of children aged 10 and over are on social networks.
Despite what social media giants say, “statistics suggest otherwise and find it harder to stay behind that line,” Webb said.
Bienaime-Besse said regulators need stronger powers to be able to act against inappropriate online content in the same way they do with traditional broadcasters.
“I think it’s absurd that the likes of Facebook and Twitter don’t have control as such like other content providers.”
And she was cynical that the industry would endeavor to regulate itself when it came to the case of the younger children.
Nevertheless, “if you go to Silicon Valley, all the high technology executives send their children to Montessori schools without screens and only blackboards.
“And Apple’s Steve Jobs did not let his kids use an iPad.”
Bienaime-Bess said that the parents had to wake up with “what we have in our hands.” A child who can not defend himself must be under protection from the harm that these useful tools can bring.
“Children should become masters of technology by learning to code” rather than being slaves to it, he said.
SHOULD OR NOT BAN YOUR YOUNG KIDS FROM MEDIA SCREENS?