According to an article in the Daily Mail today (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054950/Passive-TV-watching-harm-babies-speech.html), ‘passive’ television watching – leaving the television playing when you’re not really watching - is as dangerous for children as passive smoking.
Experts at the American Academy of Paediatrics said parents are more likely to use television or a computer to keep children occupied, but they revealed watching TV interferes with the amount of time children and parents spend interacting and can also interfere with a child’s ability to learn from play. The Communication Trust strongly believe that spending time speaking and listening to your child is vital for developing their communication skills. However, that does not mean that you cannot turn TV and other forms of technology into communication opportunities.
Earlier in the year, as part of the Hello campaign (national year of communication), we were involved in the development and launch of Raa Raa The Noisy Lion. Raa Raa is a show on CBeebies that supports the development of speech and language through rhyme and rhythm. We developed some top tips for making the most of your television time. These include making sure children watch programmes that are age appropriate, encouraging your child to ask and answer questions relating to the programme and if you let your children watch TV, watch it with them as much as possible.
To see Raa Raa’s top ten telly tips, click here (http://www.hello.org.uk/media/2946/raa_raa_top_tips_for_tv.pdf)
To find out more about Raa Raa, click here (http://www.raaraathenoisylion.com/) and you can also download Raa Raa resources for parents and practitioners here (http://www.hello.org.uk/resources/resources/resources-for-parents/raa-raa-the-noisy-lion.aspx)