SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – A consumer advocacy group says parents are getting duped by companies marketing so-called educational mobile apps for babies and toddlers.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood says Fisher Price and Open Solutions, based in Slovakia, violate laws regarding truth in advertising.

The advocacy group says both companies claim their apps can teach babies the alphabet and logic skills.

Dr. Lori Werner, with Beaumont Children’s Hospital, said there is no evidence that theses apps are educational.

“I do think that these companies are capitalizing on the needs of busy parents,” Werner told WWJ’s Sean Lee. “And the parent will feel better thinking, ‘Well, he’s getting something educational.

“And I really think that’s misleading, I really do,” she said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends there be no screen time for children age two and under.

Werner said, when it comes to learning, the good old fashion way is more reliable.

“If you have this app, and it’s marketing towards teach your baby letter or numbers, or whatever it might be … I think if you sat down with them with some books and flashcards, and doing these things together, you would get much more learning out of your child. Plus,” she said, ” you’d have that interaction and that relationship building.”

The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over the apps.

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