Your Voice

May 1, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Comment on 'Children & Television' article

I am grateful to Drs. Christakis and Zimmerman for their article "Children & Television" in the March 2007 issue of Contemporary Pediatrics. It is useful to have the data and some talking points in our ongoing efforts to counsel parents about regulating their children's media exposure.

Just how difficult a task this has become is exemplified in a current ad campaign for video equipment in Chrysler minivans. A group of children is shown on a school bus, engaging in out-of-control behavior-screaming, fighting, throwing things-until the driver lowers a video screen at the front of the bus. The children immediately lapse into a mesmerized state, completely frozen with fixed attention to the screen. The voiceover says, "When they get what they want, you get what you want," and the scene shifts to a happy family cruising down the road in a minivan, the parents happily conversing in front and the kids, contentedly catatonic in the back, watching a video. Clearly, what the advertisers think that parents want-and are willing to pay for-is quiet.

Remembering IMMIGRANTS

Dear Dr. McMillan:
I am writing to thank you for your editorial ("A World Without Children: Just Imagine") in the February 2007 Contemporary Pediatrics. I will keep your editorial in my office, to remind me of the joy of being a pediatrician and a father.

I also want to thank you for mentioning the children of young, poor, and illegal immigrants. I serve a minority population in inner-city Milwaukee. I feel that it is a privilege to serve a group of people who have risked everything, have left their relatives and culture, in order to find work opportunities so that they can provide opportunities for their families.

I have not met a single parent who does not desire to learn English. Although that is hard to do when you work two shifts.

I feel that both the immigrants from Europe that arrived here 400 years ago and the Latin American immigrants that are now arriving deserve the same respect and admiration. They are the gutsy people who founded this country, and who are now cleaning our buildings, cultivating our vegetables, babysitting our children, cooking our food, and building our houses. Some among us are luckier and are health care providers, like myself. But, in essence, we are all the same.

Sincerely,Francisco Enriquez, MDSixteenth Street Community Health CenterMilwaukee