Benefit of mobile apps for toddlers questioned

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A consumer advocacy group says parents are getting duped into thinking mobile apps can make their babies and toddlers smarter.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in Boston says mobile apps by Fisher-Price Inc. of East Aurora, N.Y., and Open Solutions in Bratislava, Slovakia, are violating truth-in-advertising laws in claiming their apps can teach babies the letters of the alphabet or logic skills. The group filed a complaint Wednesday with the Federal Trade Commission.

Neither company, contacted by phone and email, responded immediately to requests for comment.

The group's director, Susan Linn, says there's no evidence that mobile apps are beneficial to children, while some research shows that screen time can be harmful.

In 2006, the campaign filed a similar complaint against "Baby Einstein" videos, which prompted Walt Disney Co. to alter its marketing practices and eventually offer consumer refunds.

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