German baby docs blast Dipsy, Laa-Laa & pals

Teletubbies leads to TV attachment, they say

BERLIN – The reputation of the Teletubbies, the colorful yet controversial British quartet, has once again been brought to question, this time by the German Assn. of Pediatricians, which has condemned the “Teletubbies” TV series as detrimental to very young children.

The doctors claim the show and other similar programs, “under the guise of educational value,” fasten kids to TV at a very early age, which can lead to “uncontrollable television consumption in later years,” says the docs.

Among some of the symptoms children may suffer after prolonged viewing include speech impediments, concentration difficulties, learning disabilities and communication problems.

Doctors criticized the fact that the “Teletubbies,” four colorful puppet-like creatures, don’t speak correctly but instead babble incoherent baby talk, which could influence a child’s speech development.

The BBC-produced “Teletubbies” is aimed at 2- to 3-year-old viewers and sparked some controversy here when it premiered on tyke channel Kinderkanal earlier this year. Some critics were put off by the idea of openly targeting 2-year-olds with the show’s merchandising tie-ins and objected to it being carried by the public children’s channel.