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Baby DVDs harm kids speech

world Updated: Mar 03, 2010 02:41 IST
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If you believe educational DVDs would help your toddler learn faster, think again, as a new study has claimed that early exposure to so-called ‘baby DVDs’ can in fact harm the child’s speech development.

The University of California study showed that programmes aimed at under-twos and which boast they can teach children specific words had actually no effect.

For the study, the researchers tested the vocabulary of 96 children, aged 12 to 24 months, six weeks after half were given an educational DVD to watch in their homes.

They found that there was no relation between the words the children learnt and their watching of DVDs.

“Parents who use baby DVDs early may be less likely to engage in behaviours that promote language development,” lead researcher Dr Rebekah Richert was quoted as saying by the Daily Express.

“Early viewing of baby DVDs may actually impair language.”

Most worryingly, children whose parents said that they began watching infant DVDs at an early age scored lower on a test of vocabulary knowledge.

Researcher Dimitri Christakis said: “The evidence is mounting that baby-targeted DVDs are of no value and may in fact be harmful.”