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Back to October Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 261 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS OCTOBER 2007

'Educational' DVDs for Babies Under Scrutiny

40% of three-month-olds watch television, DVDs or videos regularly. By the age of two, 90% of children watch 1 1/2 hours of TV or videos a day. Many programs and movies aimed at infant and toddler audiences claim to be educational and to stimulate babies' "cognitive development." A recent study, however, came to the opposite conclusion about such products.

The study appearing in the Journal of Pediatrics found that the more "educational" movies infants ages 8-16 months watched, the more slowly their vocabularies developed. For each hour per day infants watched these programs, they understood six to eight fewer words than infants who did not watch them.

Infants in the study watched movies from brands such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, which sell well and generally have a good name with parents. The group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against both of those brands, for claiming to help babies learn when the research seems to contradict that claim. The complaint also includes BabyFirstTV, the first channel specifically for babies and toddlers. (The Scotsman, 8-7-07)


 
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