Electronic babysitter? Fisher-Price's iPad baby seat sparks controversy

December 17, 2013 3:54 PM

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Electronic babysitter? Fisher-Price's iPad baby seat sparks controversy

Controversy continues to rage over the launch of Fisher-Price's Apptivity Seat, designed to support young babies while holding an iPad inches from their faces.

According to Fisher-Price's website, the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat "provides another way to stimulate and engage baby while protecting your device from baby's sticky fingers and preventing unintentional navigating to other apps."

The bouncy chair includes a removable toy bar and a mirror holder which can be replaced with an iPad.

It comes with free apps including "soft, soothing sounds and nature scenes" and "black-and-white images and high-contrast patterns."

Yet the committee Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood (CCFC) has brandished the chair an "electronic babysitter" and criticized Fisher-Price for suggesting that babies as young as newborns should be left alone facing a screen for any amount of time.

The committee has collected more than 11,000 signatures on a petition seeking to have the product removed from the market. It will be sent to the U.S. toy giant's executive vice-president, David Allmark.

"There are so many awful screen products for babies these days, but the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad device is the worst yet," the committee's campaign page reads.

Amazon reviews for the product have been largely negative, although several parents did point to the usefulness of the seat for slightly older children or toddlers with special needs. Others highlighted the possibility of using the chair as a way of discovering educational apps with their child.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under the age of two should not be left exposed to screens.

Earlier this year, CTA Digital released the iPotty for iPad, a children's training potty which features an attached stand specifically adapted to hold an iPad device.

Source: ctvnews.ca

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