Early Learning: for & against
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Do babies and computers go together? It depends on who you talk to.
On one hand, the computer enables us to rotate images, pronunciations and sound effects, making lessons infinitely more varied and engaging than is possible with either flash cards or DVDs.
On the other, some people are worried about babies looking at any kind of screen - whether television or computer.
The reason why can be broken down into three main concerns: radiation, eye strain, and flash lessons (lessons involving the high-speed presentation of information).
Let's look at these concerns one by one...
Most modern home computers emit a negligible degree of radiation. If the radiation from the average computer were really harmful to babies, then it would be harmful to everyone, and we would all be told to stay away from the computer!
However, the old cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors - the big, bulky kind - do emit a significant amount of potentially harmful radiation. People who are particularly sensitive to this type of radiation (estimated to be around 20 percent of the population) can suffer ill effects from prolonged exposure, with symptoms including low mood and decreased immune function.
Thankfully, liquid crystal display (LCD) monitors - which do not have this problem - have become the norm in most countries.
If you are using a CRT monitor with your computer, it is advisable to get an LCD monitor as soon as possible - for the sake of your health as much as your baby's.
Now, let's explore the topic of eyestrain...