The FaceTime Babysitter

The FaceTime Babysitter

Source: The New York Times

More and more parents of young children are hitting upon using video-calling apps, such as FaceTime and Skype, as handy child care helpers. Let’s be clear. Parents, at least most of them, aren’t leaving their children home alone with virtual babysitters. Rather, they’re enlisting family and friends to watch the little ones via video for short periods of time. Some view this approach as one step better than simply plopping children in front of the television or handing them an iPad. At least with video-calling apps, there’s some human interaction involved. Experts, however, note that this sort of virtual babysitting can provide parents with a false sense of security, and is no replacement for childproofing and in-person supervision. “The art of dealing with boredom or nonstimulation is an exquisite skill that children need to develop,” said Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician in Seattle and member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Communications and Media.

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Consistently ranked as one of the best children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical referral center for the largest landmass of any children’s hospital in the country (Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho). For more than 100 years, Seattle Children’s has been delivering superior patient care while advancing new treatments through pediatric research. Seattle Children’s serves as the primary teaching, clinical and research site for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The hospital works in partnership with Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.