Baby Einstein Offering Refund for Infant DVDs

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If you purchased a Baby Einstein DVD between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009, you may be eligible for a refund or a replacement product.

Baby Einstein was originally the conception of Julie Aigner-Clarke who promoted “educational” DVD’s for children from birth to age 3. She sold the company to the Walt Disney Company in 2001. According to a 2003 survey, approximately one-third of all American households with infants under two year of age own at least one of the Baby Einstein videos.

A complaint was issued to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in 2006. The Boston organization requested that the word “educational” be removed from Disney’s marketing ads for the Baby Einstein DVD’s. In addition, the CCFC has threatened a class-action lawsuit against the media company for “unfair and deceptive practices”.

In a policy statement issued in February of 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television viewing for all children younger than 2 years of age, and instead encourages more interactive activities such as talking, reading, playing and singing that will promote proper brain development.

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In August 2007, the Journal of Pediatrics released a study by researchers at the University of Washington. The study found that for every hour infants spend watching videos such as those marketed by Baby Einstein, they learned six to eight fewer words. The babies also scored about 10% lower on language skill tests.

This year, in a separate study, also published in Pediatrics, found that children on average watch nearly an hour of television each day by the age of 6 months, and 1.4 hours a day by age 2. There was no cognitive development benefit to watching television during the first 2 years of life.

Consumers have until March 2010 to return up to four videos purchased during the time period stated, and does not require a receipt. Disney is offering an exchange for other Baby Einstein products, such as books or music CD’s, a 25% off coupon, or a full refund of the standard DVD cost of $15.99.

Instructions for returning the videos is located on the Baby Einstein website at www.babyeinstein.com.

Sources Include: The American Academy of Pediatrics, Baby Einstein.com

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