02/03/2010 03:38 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

More Evidence That Educational DVDs Do More Harm Than Good

A new study has found that parents who show their children educational DVDs may be doing more harm than good.

The researchers looked at almost 100 boys and girls aged between one and two.

They found that regularly watching a Baby Einstein DVD didn't help the children's vocabulary - and the younger the kids started to watch, the worse their word skills were.

The children were tested over six weeks and half were shown the 35-minute Baby Wordsworth DVD 15 times. The other half went about life as normal.

The DVD, which costs about £18, uses puppets and people to introduce 30 words for rooms and household appliances.

The Baby Einstein range has become controversial, as reported on Parentdish, with parents in the USA offered refunds after threatening legal action.

This new study found that older children picked up more new words than younger ones, but no more than the other children who did not watch the DVD.

Researchers say the younger a child had started to watch the DVDs, the worse their vocabulary was. They think this could be because parents are more likely to use them if their children are struggling to learn to speak.

Obviously, watching TV also means the kids are missing out on playing with their parents, children and toys - all of which involves communication.

Some experts also think that flashing lights and quick scene changes on TV programmes over-stimulate young children's brains.

Researcher Dr Rebekah Richert told the Daily Mail: "Given that infant-directed media are nearly ubiquitous aspects of many infants' lives, research should continue to examine whether and how parents can use the DVDs effectively."

However, no one at Disney, which makes the Baby Einstein DVDs, was available for comment.

A previous study found that kids between seven and 16 months who watched the DVDs knew fewer words than their peers.

It's not rocket science, is it? If kids are gawping at the TV, that's time they're not spending communicating with their parents or other children. I'm not sure I need a study to tell me that...

Source: Daily Mail