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A Boston-based child advocacy group is calling on Fisher-Price to stop producing baby seats that come with an iPad holder. The group claims that it deprives babies of a view of the world, since the seat has the iPad directly in front of the a baby’s face.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has set its sights on the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat, which it called the “worst” of the many new products that put screens in front of babies.
“The Apptivity Seat is a bouncy seat for an infant—with a place for an iPad directly above the baby’s face, blocking his or her view of the rest of the world. Babies are literally a captive audience,” the group said in a statement today.
In addition, they consider the product to be the “ultimate electronic baby sitter,” which is not a good thing, since “it encourages parents to leave infants all alone with an iPad.” The group also can’t believe that Fisher-Price is marketing it as an educational product for newborns, since it makes it easier for them to use the tablet. Since there’s no evidence that shows apps actually helping newborns, the American Academy of Pediatrics has suggested that parents keep newborns away from tablets, the group said.
“Babies need laps, not apps. Fisher-Price should focus on developing products that actually facilitate learning, development, and interaction with caregivers, instead of encouraging parents to strap down babies—even those too young to sit up—inches from a screen,” the CCFC concluded. They also added a link to a petition parents can sign to try to get Fisher-Price to stop selling the seats.
According to Reuters, Fisher-Price has not responded to the CCFC’s statement. The company also offers apps for Apple devices it claims helps newborns learn.