Here’s what spanking does to kids. None of it is good, doctors say.

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By Maggie Fox

Parents who hit their kids may believe that a swat “just gets their attention” or imposes old-fashioned discipline, but spanking in fact makes behavior worse than it was before and can cause long-term harm, pediatricians said Monday.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strengthened its advice against corporal punishment in update guidelines, saying it makes kids more aggressive and raises the risk of mental health issues.

“Experiencing corporal punishment makes it more, not less, likely that children will be defiant and aggressive in the future,” the group says in its new guidelines to pediatricians.

“There’s no benefit to spanking,” said Dr. Robert Sege of Tufts Medical Center in Boston, who helped write the guidelines.

“We know that children grow and develop better with positive role modeling and by setting healthy limits. We can do better.”

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