Are Baby Apps Deceptive?
GAINESVILLE - Through technology, learning apps are becoming more popular for babies and toddlers. However, the tool may not be as educational as it sounds and looks.
The complaint was declared by a Boston based advocacy group. The allegations from the "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood," against Baby Einstein videos eventually led to nationwide consumer refunds. The group says app developers are trying to fool parents into thinking apps are more educational than entertaining; this is why they are urging federal regulators to examine the marketing practices of developers like Fisher-Price.
Smart apps may not be so smart for babies, according to the "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood."
Erica Morris from Gainesville can see why parents use these interactive apps. However her technique for teaching little Jonathan isn't through an app but through repetition. "He has some of those toys as well but I don't think he does as well as when I actually sit down with him and I use his book and were doing it together," Morris said.
However Cullen's ABC's is an online preschool, that creates educational videos online for children; giving parents a "do-it-yourself" feel. Their Gainesville representative says their app has enabled learning for many children.
Laura Lentz the Marketing Director for Cullen's ABC's said, "You know maybe it's an autistic child that has been non-verbal... Who never speaks and the parent or the caregiver puts them in front of cullen and we get messages that will literally bring tears to your eyes."
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any electronic "screen time" for infants and toddlers under two, while older children should be limited to 1 to 2 hours a day. It cites one study that found infant videos can delay language development, and warns that no studies have documented a benefit of early viewing.
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