[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Anger at Sesame Street for babies
Sesame Beginnings
Sesame Beginnings is aimed at children under two
A Sesame Street DVD aimed at babies as young as six months has sparked anger from groups who believe children under two should not watch any TV.

Sesame Beginnings features characters such a Baby Big Bird and Baby Elmo.

The Sesame Workshop said it worked closely with child development experts to produce the series.

But the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) says experts have found no evidence that watching TV under the age of two has any benefits.

The CCFC says the American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents children's doctors in the US, has previously said young children should not be put in front of the TV.

"There is no evidence that screen media is beneficial for babies and growing evidence it may be harmful," it said.

These are the absolute antithesis of park-your-baby-in-front-of-the-TV kind of videos
Dr Kyle Pruett, Zero to Three

"Sesame Beginnings will encourage babies' devotion to TV characters that have been licensed to promote hundreds of other products."

'Adult information'

The Sesame Workshop said it had worked closely with advocacy group Zero to Three in the making of the DVDs.

"We didn't go into this in an impulsive way," said Rosemarie Truglio, Sesame Workshop's vice president of education and research.

"We wanted to invite the parent into the viewing situation, to give the adult information about child development."

Dr Kyle Pruett, of Yale University and a member of Zero to Three, said that although he was sceptical at first he believed it was better to provide options for parents who wanted to allow their children to watch TV.

"These are the absolute antithesis of park-your-baby-in-front-of-the-TV kind of videos," he said.

"They are thoughtful, informative - it's not a corporate campaign trying to draw kids into TV life."

Cookie Monster curbs cookie habit
11 Apr 05 |  Entertainment
India waits for its own Sesame Street
19 Aug 04 |  South Asia
Big Bird's bid for Mid-East peace
14 Nov 03 |  Entertainment
HIV puppet on Sesame Street
17 Sep 02 |  Africa

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific