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Early Habits

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Children age 2 and younger spend two hours per day watching the tube. The average age at which infants begin watching programming designed for their age group (like Baby Einstein) is five months. Those who create and sell those DVDs often claim that they can encourage, or even jump-start, various aspects of cognitive and language development in children. A new study (read it in full) from the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, conducted by researchers at UC Riverside, on children 12- to 24-months old found that there was no evidence that children learned new words from the DVDs. More frightening, children who began watching those DVDs at an earlier age actually scored lower on a vocabulary test.