Doctors Issue Warning Against Spanking Children

In the first update in policy since 1998, the American Association of Pediatrics has hardened its stance against spanking as a form of punishment for children. 

According to the policy statement of the journal posted this week, the group recommends that adults use "healthy forms of discipline" such as positive reinforcement for appropriate behaviors and setting limits and expectations instead of spanking, threatening or hitting.

While speaking to CNN, Dr. Robert Sege, a pediatrician at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said the following:

"In the 20 years since that policy was first published, there's been a great deal of additional research, and we're now much stronger in saying that parents should never hit their child and never use verbal insults that would humiliate or shame the child."

What do they recommend instead? For babies - distracting them or changing the subject, for toddlers - the time out method.


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