Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Language Lesson

For the parents of little ones...

According to the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 'having the TV on as background noise might seem harless enough, but it could be interferring with your infant's language development and stifling parent-child interaction and conversation. A new study shows that for every hour spent within earshot of a television, parents speak fewer words to their young children, and children make fewer vocalizations in response.

In the study, researchers analyzed information gathered from 329 children, ages 2 months to 2 years. The children wore digital devices on random days for up to 2 years that recorded everything they heard or said. The recordings were analyzed by software that categorized the sounds and counted words spoken to the children by adults. The study found that each additional hour of a child's TV exposure was associated with two results: a decrease in 770 words (7%) that the child heard from an adult during the recording session, and a reduction in the number and length of sounds and spoken words by the child. Researchers say these results may explain previous links between television viewing and delayed language skills.'