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HHS HealthBeat (March 20, 2013)

Fussy babies’ TV time

A baby holds up a TV remote.

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

The TV is probably America’s busiest babysitter, and some babies get more TV time than others. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, researcher Amanda Thompson looked at which babies those were. She examined data on 217 mothers and babies, and came away with three areas that raised likelihood of more TV time:

``The three characteristics were maternal obesity, infant activity levels – so, how squirmy they were – and also infant fussiness; how much time they spent fussing or crying.’’  

Kids who have more TV time tend to become fatter and have lower scores on school tests. So Thompson says moms might do better things to soothe infants, such as music, reading, or playing with the baby.

The study in the journal Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: March 20, 2013