"Everything we know about brain research and child development points away from using screens to educate babies," said Susan Linn, the group's director. "The research shows that machines and screen media are a really ineffective way of teaching a baby language. What babies need for healthy brain development is active play, hands-on creative play, and face-to-face" interaction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any electronic "screen time" for infants and toddlers under 2, while older children should be limited to one to two 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.
In a statement provided to The Associated Press, Open Solutions said it agrees that electronics are not a substitute for human interaction. But it noted the many positive reviews its apps have received by customers.
"We also don't say 'get this game and let it teach your child everything,'" wrote the company, based in Bratislava, Slovakia. "We assume (the) child is playing the game with parent/sister/baby sitter. We think we have apps that can help parents with babies, either by entertaining babies or help them see new things, animals, hear their sounds, etc."
Kathleen Alfano, senior director of child research for Fisher-Price, said in a statement that toy development at the East Aurora, N.Y.-based company begins with extensive research by experts in early childhood development "to create appropriate toys for the ways children play, discover and grow."