Toy manufacturer Fisher-Price is aiming to add children to the tablet generation early with a new infant seat complete with iPad dock – but parents aren’t happy.
The Campaign for a Commerical-Free Childhood (CCFC), which “works to reclaim childhood from corporate marketers,” released a statement condemning the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad as a “terrible product,” and “the ultimate electronic baby-sitter.”
“Because screens can be mesmerizing and babies are strapped down and ‘safely’ restrained, it encourages parents to leave infants all alone with an iPad,” the statement 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. Let’s tell them to go back to the drawing board and recall the Apptivity Seat for iPad.”
Despite offering free apps marketed as intending to “stimulate and engage” infants, a spokeswoman for Fisher-Price responded to increasing product criticism in Reuters Wednesday, and said the product was not meant to be educational.
“We wanted to offer it as yet another option for those parents who want the added feature of engaging in age-appropriate content with their children,” Juliette Reashor said.
The CCFC also stated that the product threatens to inhibit natural activities proven to be beneficial to infant brain development, like playing with hands and feet, observing the world around them, and interacting with adults.