Infant DVDs may slow language development
Aug 09,2007 00:00 by UPI
SEATTLE -- A U.S. report says videos such as “Baby Einstein” and “Brainy Baby” may hurt rather than help the language development of infants and young toddlers.

For every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants ages of 8 to 16 months understood an average of six to eight fewer words than infants who did not watch them, researchers from the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute said Wednesday.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, said the videos had no positive or negative effect on the vocabularies on toddlers 17 to 24 months of age.

"The most important fact to come from this study is there is no clear evidence of a benefit coming from baby DVDs and videos and there is some suggestion of harm,” lead author Frederick Zimmerman said in a news release. “The bottom line is the more a child watches baby DVDs and videos the bigger the effect. The amount of viewing does matter.”

The researchers said the content of baby DVDs and videos is different from the other types of children's educational programming because it tends to have little dialogue, short scenes and disconnected pictures.

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