Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Baby Einstein Turns Kids Into Baby Homer Simpson

Here is a Wired.com article/blog post about Baby Einstein.Baby Einstein

Videos marketed to parents as a learning tools for infants may actually stunt their babies' development, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In a survey of 1,000 parents, University of Washington pediatricians found that for every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as 'Brainy Baby' or 'Baby Einstein,' they knew six to eight fewer words than other children. Reading to children and telling them stories appeared far more beneficial than the videos, which are designed to engage a baby's attention, hop from scene to scene with minimal dialogue and include mesmerizing images, like a lava lamp. The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids under two shouldn't watch any TV at all.

The findings appear intuitive -- television is, broadly speaking, a passive medium, much less meaningful at a young age than interaction with a parent. And videos like Baby Einstein are about as meaningless as it gets.

Dimitri Christakis, the study's lead author, has elsewhere posited that the link between infant TV watching and subsequent attention disorders and behavioral problems has a biological basis: at a time when their brains are still in accelerated development, the babies are literally being rewired by TV.

Concerned parents should read the full post on Wired Science - Wired Blogs.