Is it appropriate for children under the age of 2 to interact with YouTube?
It is not appropriate for children under 2 years of age to be exposed to the Internet, television or computer. American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that before they are 2 years old, children should be kept away from media exposure. The reason for this is that the virtual world prevents children from experiencing real game culture, involves the danger of exposure to stimuli that are not yet suitable for their development, and reduces the child’s awareness and creativity (Arslan et al., 2014).
From 15 months onwards, children can begin to understand the information presented through technology providing that parents watch the technological content with the child and teach it to the child. In the absence of a parent, children cannot learn technology by themselves. In this age group, it is more suitable for a child to use technology when in physical contact with one of his parents (such as taking the child in his/her lap, putting his/her hand on the child’s shoulder), as the child has difficulty separating reality from fiction.
During this period, parents should prefer games and cartoons that will improve the child’s language and visual skills. The contents should be plain, simple and as slow as possible. Sound and screen light should be reduced. Programs, cartoons, and games with this content can prevent the development of the child from being harmed. In general, games that include music, painting, colors, geometric shapes, and games that increase focus and attention should be chosen.
One of the indispensable parts of healthy development of young children is quality sleep. Children need calm and passive activities before going to sleep. However, the screens where the images change very fast and a wide variety of stimuli are presented prevent children from relaxing and calming. Therefore, it is necessary to stop using technology at least 90 minutes before sleep.