Popular: But Supernanny Jo Frost above comes in for criticism
Channel 4 has been urged to stop using children younger than five in its hit parenting shows Supernanny and Bringing Up Baby after children's charity NSPCC branded the programmes "outdated and potentially harmful".
NSPCC parenting adviser Eileen Hayes Hayes called for TV producers to stop featuring children under five until guidelines are introduced to safeguard their welfare.
Childcare experts were concerned about the parenting techniques espoused by programmes such as Supernanny, she said.
Speaking at a debate hosted by the Royal Television Society yesterday, Hayes said that TV nannies such as Bringing Up Baby's controversial baby expert Claire Verity were often unqualified and had no children of their own.
She also said that their advice exploited small children and undermined new parents' confidence.
Hayes revealed that the NSPCC had received a number of complaints from parents who felt their lives had been ruined by appearing on nanny-style programmes.
One Supernanny participant, mother-of-three Kerry Hillhouse, backed these claims, saying that producers had made her look like "the worst mother in Britain" by editing out any positive footage of her family life.
Supernanny is produced by Ricochet.
Channel 4 has faced a barrage of criticism over Bringing Up Baby, which aired last month.
The programme, made by Silver River Productions, advocated leaving infants to cry and limiting cuddling time to 10 minutes a day.
Channel 4 is also investigating claims that Verity does not hold childcare qualifications. So far media regulator Ofcom has received 743 complaints about the show.
The watchdog plans to publish new guidance for TV producers filming with children next month.
Tanya Shaw, the executive producer of Bringing Up Baby, defended the programme, saying it had "a real educational purpose".
Source: The Guaridan