Baby brains?8th May 2006
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has asked the US Federal Trade Commission to ban brands Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby from making claims about the benefits of their videos. Brands such as Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby, which expose babies to the likes of Mozart, Shakespeare and Straus, are a huge hit with parents keen to improve their babies’ IQs.
Sales of the videos are estimated at more than £500 million. The pressure group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, has challenged the manufacturers’ right to claim that the videos are educational.
It also wants the videos to carry a caution from the American Academy of Pediatrics that under-twos should not watch TV. Experts such as the Washington University professor of paediatrics, Dimitri Christakis, say TV may harm brains at a time when they triple in size. His study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in 2005 claims under-threes who watch three hours of TV a day have lower IQs.
The president of Brainy Baby, Dennis Fedoruk, refutes the campaigners’ claims, saying that they suggest parents use them in a balanced approach 'just like any learning tool'.
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