No Flashing Screens for Toddlers

The AAP offers families and physicians guidance in an updated clinical report, “SelectingAppropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era,” to be published in the January 2019 issue of Pediatrics and available online Dec. 3. The report urges parents to skip electronic toys this holiday season and instead opt for toys that promote healthy child development.

Experts say the best toys for kids are hands-on playthings such as blocks, puzzles, and board games that inspire imagination and creativity.  “The more we know about early brain development, the more we understand the need for play that is based on human interaction,” says Aleeya Healey, MD, FAAP.  She goes on to explain that video games, iPads, computers, etc, cannot replace the brain benefits that occur when children play with parents.  

What’s more, according to the AAP, high-tech toys are actually inferior — particularly for developing brains. “Toys have evolved over the years, and advertisements may leave parents with the impression that toys with a ‘virtual’ or digital-based platform are more educational,” said lead author Aleeya Healey, M.D., FAAP in a press release. “Research tells us that the best toys need not be flashy or expensive or come with an app. Simple, in this case, really is better.”

So this holiday season, let’s get back to the basics and cherish the joyful moments of playtime with your children.