The effects of infant media usage: what do we know and what should we learn?

Acta Paediatr. 2009 Jan;98(1):8-16. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2008.01027.x. Epub 2008 Sep 12.


The rise of infant TV viewing began in the late 1990s and has become an increasingly common occurrence. Today, over 90% of children begin watching TV regularly before the age of 2 years in spite of recommendations to the contrary. This article reviews what is known about the effects of infant TV viewing on multiple domains of child development including language, cognition and attentional capacity as well as directions for future research.

Conclusion: No studies to date have demonstrated benefits associated with early infant TV viewing. The preponderance of existing evidence suggests the potential for harm. Parents should exercise due caution in exposing infants to excessive media.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Attention*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Welfare
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Television*
  • Videodisc Recording