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May 10, 2005
Contact: Dr. Susan Linn (617) 278-4282 susan<at>commercialfreechildhood.org
              Dr. Diane Levin (617) 879-2176 dlevin@wheelock.edu

For Immediate Release

Children’s Coalition to Parents:
HBO’s Classical Baby is a Classic Hoax


The Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) is warning parents to keep their infants and toddlers away from the upcoming HBO television special Classical Baby which will air on Saturday, May 14.  According to HBO, the program is beneficial for infants and young children.

Psychiatrist Alvin F. Poussaint of the Judge Baker Children’s Center challenged HBO’s claims about the show’s benefits for babies: “There is no scientific evidence that demonstrates watching television is beneficial to infants. In fact, because of possible risks, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of two shouldn’t watch any television at all.”

Wheelock College Professor Diane Levin, author of Remote Control Childhood, said that the push to get babies to watch television is depriving them of the real learning and exploiting parents’ desire to be good parents. “Babies learn best by interacting with people and objects and seeing how they can affect their world. What they learn from television is to turn to screens for stimulation and soothing.”

Classical Baby is being promoted as HBO’s first evening special for infants, babies and parents. HBO claims the program will introduce young children to classical music, painting and dance and “fulfills the potential for TV to inspire and engage a baby’s imagination and sense of wonder, while serving as a wonderful tool for early learning – and family bonding.”

CCFC’s Susan Linn, psychologist and author of Consuming Kids, countered, “Babies do not need HBO or any television to bond with their parents or enjoy music. Turn the TV off, put on your favorite music, and spend some time rocking, singing, or dancing around the room with your baby. Now that’s bonding.”

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC supports the rights of children to grow up – and the rights of parents to raise them – without being undermined by rampant consumerism. For more information, please visit: www.commercialfreechildhood.org




 

 
 

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