Is Fisher-Price Taking it Too Far with Latest in Technology Integration?

By Liz Taurasi

A new product that incorporates an iPad into an infant bouncy seat is making headlines locally and nationally as groups look to get this product off the market.

Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a Boston-based advocacy group, is asking consumers to tell Fisher Price to take it’s latest product off the market - the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad®

In a society where technology is never too far away from each of us - from iPhones to iPads to tablets - there is concern by pediatricians and educators to limit this use in infants, toddlers and children as it can impact their ability to learn, in the earliest childhood years.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any screen time for children under the age of two including television and electronic devices in that a child’s brain develops rapidly over these first years and say young children learn best by interacting with people not screens. Pediatricians too recommend limitations. This includes reading books on these devices like a Kindle or an iPad, because what a child can learn from holding an actual book and interacting with a parent from the texture and feel of the book, to learning how to turn pages and more is something you can’t learn from an electronic device.

The Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad®, has a spot for an iPad directly above the infant’s face, blocking his or her view of the rest of the world, the group says in a statement released this week. According to CCFC, the product is marketed as being educational for newborns and encourages parents to download “early learning apps.”

My pediatrician went so far as to require parents of all his patients to read the book “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in a Digital Age.” Written by clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair, it addresses the lasting effects of chronic technology distractions and how children need what only parents (and not technology) can provide. It's worth a read. 

Do you think the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® is a good idea or do you agree with the CCFC that is should be taken off the market? Share your thoughts in our comments section below.


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