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Researcher Reveals how ‘Gamified’ Interactive Media is Designed to Capture Children’s Attention and What to Do About it


Dr. Jenny Radesky will provide pediatricians with tools to help parents make wise decisions on children’s media use.

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Interactive media is designed to be fun and engaging, and children often find the persuasive, playful techniques hard to resist.

Today, a growing body of research is available to help experts understand the methods being used to attract young game-players and sustain their attention. Using this knowledge, pediatricians can provide new strategies for families to manage their use of media. Jenny Radesky, MD, FAAP, an author of AAP’s policy statement, Media and Young Minds, will talk about research findings that help equip pediatricians to handle the challenges of newer media use among young children during the 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans from Oct. 25-29.

“The newer media are not only designed to grab and keep children’s attention, they can be collecting data about children’s behavior,” Dr. Radesky said. “Pediatricians can help parents recognize poorly designed media and help them to avoid hidden data collection.”

New research on the types of personal data collected by apps and other child-directed technology will be reviewed. Dr. Radesky will contrast technology design with other open-ended activities that promote child self-regulation and parent-child relationships.

She will speak during the plenary, “Gamified Childhood: How to Guide Parents Through the World of Interactive Media,” from 11:30-11:50 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Great Hall.

Other sessions of interest featuring Dr. Radesky are:

“Controversies in Pediatrics: Social Media: Friend or Foe,” a moderated talk with Michael Rich, MD, MPH, FAAP.
3-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, Morial Convention Center, Room 252-254

“Mobile Ads Aimed at Children: Ethical and Developmental Concerns”
8:30-9:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, Morial Convention Center, Room 228-230.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit Reporters can access the meeting program and other relevant meeting information through the AAP meeting website at