Baby Einstein Recall Issued for Ineffective Videos

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 By

Movies don’t make baby geniuses

Image from Picasa.

Image from Picasa.

Apparently, it has been discovered that the Baby Einstein video series, created for children younger than two, does not turn babies into geniuses. In fact, the Times Online reports that watching videos of any type might be harmful for children that age.

After a drawn out process that involved dropping a complaint against the company in 2007 and then re-opening it, the Baby Einstein recall has been issued officially. The company says it will refund all Baby Einstein video purchases between June 5, 2004, and Sept. 4, 2009.

Baby Einstein recall a curious case

The time period that the Baby Einstein recall covers includes an incident during which President Bush recognized Baby Einstein company founder Julie Aigner-Clark as an “American hero.” At the time, the Federal Trade Commission was already investigating a complaint against Baby Einstein.

Aigner-Clark had already made some fast cash by selling her company to Disney, but the complaint includes Aigner-Clark because her image is still used to market Baby Einstein, and she is the one who named the company. The complaint directly addresses the name, as “Baby Einstein” indicates that the product will make children smart, although it might actually do the opposite.

Is Baby Einstein recall symbolic?

Now that the Baby Einstein recall has been issued, the complainants seem satisfied. A Slate article rightfully points out that the Baby Einstein recall is important, not because people can get back the few dollars they spend on videos, but because it’s the company’s way of admitting that its products are ineffective.

Furthermore, the Baby Einstein recall publicizes the fact that the videos will not turn children into geniuses, and that’s the real purpose of the complaint: to educate people about the fact that watching videos and TV at such a young age can be bad for kids.

Based on this inromation, it seems logical that the Baby Einstein recall would apply to all purchases of Baby Einstein videos since the company started selling the products in 1997. However, refunds only will be issued for purchases made during the designated time period.

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This post has 15 comments

  1. Emma says:

    i feel that if the DVDs are being recalled so should the toys.

  2. fran says:

    how can people be so stupid…. stupid people raise stupid children. so all the people who want a refund probably don't think it's a good idea to teach their children to read either..

  3. Maria says:

    I agree this article is silly. Any parent leaving their child in front of the TV for hours at a time is just plain lazy and thier child is probably going to suffer from it. These videos aren't even long enough to fill an entire hour and most of the time my child is watching it I'm there with him talking to him about the colors and images on the screen. I think it's silly to say that drawing, reading and puzzles should be kept to a minimum. It's good to let them have a creative outlet as well as physical activity. That article seemed a little slanted in that it assumes that everyone using these videos are lazy parents leaving their children in front of the TV all day with little interaction instead of using them as the teaching aide they were meant for. Also just because they watch these videos occasionally doesn't mean they aren't getting three hours of physical activity.

  4. Ashley says:

    The videos are stupid! My daughters doc told me NEVER show these stupid videos as they promote short attention spans! And my 3 nieces are proof the 2 that watched them and liked them cant sit still or pay attention and the 1 that didn't can sit still for ever

  5. Scott says:

    This is THE most ridiculous thing I have heard so far. If people really bought these because of the the name and the hope that their kids would become a 'baby einstein' Then they are morons!!! These videos are fun and help a child to learn different things. If this is the only form of teaching you are giving your child, I revert back to my prior comment. Anything in excess can be harmful. Whether it be to kids or adults. Also if only one thing is being used and used as more of a 'baby sitter' then a teaching tool, I think the parents need some help.

    With this recall, I think other 'misleading' products should be recalled as well. Airborne, proven to do nothing but people still buy it. Other medications, proven to cover symptoms but not actually take care of the problem. BEER, after watching all their adds, I am expecting a few hot women to accompany me when I buy a case. DOESN'T happen, yet I am not going to write a formal complaint to them. Just because a name means something, doesn't mean it needs to be recalled because someones kid didn't turn into Doogie Howser!

    • Amber says:

      Just wanted to say that I totally agree! I just googled the issue after a visit with my child's Dr and she had informed me of the recall. I was blown away!!! The problem is not with the videos it is with the parents! My child loved the videos and they were used every day FOR A SHORT SPAN OF TIME! The videos were also used as teaching aids meaning my child was not just thrown in front of the TV! I set with my child and taught him shapes, colors, objects, etc. Which to me was the purpose of the video line. I have read that it cause the child to speak at a much later age, typically 6 months behind a child that did not use the videos. Maybe this is true if used the wrong way but like you had stated this is with anything! Why would any parent think that it is alright to stick their child in front of a TV and leave them for hours at a time is beyond me! My son knew a most of his colors before the age of two. Could carry on a conversation with you. Could say his ABC,s. Knew his numbers up to 10. Knew his shapes, people would gasp or just chuckle that he knew what an octagon was. I could go on forever but I will stop here. My point of replying was to keep it short and sweet as to simply say that I agree but I suppose I got carried away :)

  6. Hanna says:

    This is silly! My child watches these dvd's few times a week And I don't see her being harmed by them. I have lot a friends that have let their kids watch then as a baby and their kids are doing great in school and are smart. I never bought these dvd's because i was thinking they are going to make my child a genius… They are just fun to watch together. I own several and i am planing on keeping them!

    • nikke says:

      good for you. Its too bad that this video has too be canceled because this video doesent turn your child into a "EINSTEIN". What a joke it is that people dont have something better to complain about. We bought our first video at a garage sale and our 9 month old LOVES IT! we have been looking for more of the collection at stores, only to find out about this bogous recall…. what a joke

  7. Tracy says:


  8. Tracy says:

    Hi I heard that you also can return books is that true?

  9. jenny says:

    Yes—you can return DVDs with no receipt.

  10. Jessica Stern says:

    I still have DVDs am I able to get a refund?

  11. MIke McFadden says:

    I bought into this program and i have 4 dvd's and 5 vhs all for my child how do i get a refund for the whole package

  12. Franrose says:

    Times Online also reports that “reading, drawing or solving puzzles,” if not kept at a minimum, may pose development threats to children ages 2-5. First of all, I don’t care what anyone has to say about it or what type of psychology degree you’ve earned; reading is absolutely important. Of course, it’s also important that your child interacts with others in order to attain and improve social skills, but to declare reading as a harmful factor in any stage of development is absolutely ridiculous. Your mind is the most powerful thing you have. Reading, drawing and solving puzzles works wonders to the brain, as appose to playing hide-and-seek hours on end.

  13. sherlene says:

    I had purchased baby einstein but do not have the receipt how do I get the refund?

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