Albany-- For some parents, the television set is a babysitter for their children.
Every parent has probably done it at some time--sat a child in front of their favorite TV program for a couple hours. Now, a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows too much TV is harming toddlers' attention spans.
It's free time at Kidsville, "Their free time is just to let them burn some energy so they can eat well and rest well," says teacher Monica Robinson.
These two-year-olds are burning lots of energy--by playing the drums or working on puzzles. There is not a single television set in the room.
"No, we have no televisions. We have a couple of computers in our pre-K or after-school room, but we have no television." Georgee Pendley owns five award winning day care centers in South Georgia. She's been an educator for 23 years--she took out the television sets a long time ago.
"They read a lot, they are painting, they are playing, just different things throughout the day. There is no need for television."
Long before this study by the American Academy of Pediatrics was released, Pendley already noticed that the little ones seemed to lose their creative spark in front of the tube, "Their focus is on the television set. They are just sitting there, they are not using their little minds to create things or there hands to build things, whereas if there is no television there they would be building, in the kitchen or outside."
At Kidsville, there is plenty of time to play outside or learn inside--and no TV's allowed.
The study found that for every hour a preschooler watches television, the child's chances of developing an attention deficit problem increase by ten percent.