Consumer Group demands recall of infant bouncy chair with built-in iPad holder

Mattel’s Fisher-Price brand “$80 Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad is similar to many bouncy seats for babies, although this one replaces the standard mobile of toys with a holder for an Apple tablet,” Ina Fried reports for AllThingsD.

“‘We think this toy is the worst of the worst,’ says Josh Golin, associate director for the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood,” Fried reports. “The group has collected more than 1,400 signatures for a petition asking Mattel’s Fisher Price unit to recall the infant seat. While there are other products aimed at toddlers and young children, Golin said he is shocked to see the iPad aimed at newborns, especially in a setting where they are strapped down and essentially forced to stare at the screen. ‘They are not going to be complaining or crying or asking for the attention that they need,’ Golin said.”

Fisher-Price's Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad (baby and iPad not included)
Fisher-Price’s Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad
(baby, iPad, and hideous spaghetti-looking, mite-harboring carpet not included)

 
Fried reports, “Golin says his group backs the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation discouraging all screen time for kids under 2.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Start ’em young, we always say! 😉

Now, according to the product description, the seat features an “adjustable toy bar has dangling activity toys that are always within reach, and a large, 7” mirror that’s more than entertaining as it reflects baby’s image – it’s also beneficial for facial recognition and developing a sense of self.” Inserting an iPad into the mirror’s case is optional and billed as just “another way to stimulate and engage your child.” Also, the “iPad holder removes completely when you want a traditional seat.” Mattel further recommends that users “download free apps that were created with the guidance of child development experts. Visual content and sounds are slow paced and time out after 10-12 minutes.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

56 Comments

  1. I have to agree with whoever this group is. I have a 10 mo. old and I did research which basically said you really shouldn’t be putting a TV or iPad in front of a baby for 2 years.

    1. Based on what research?

      Visual stimulation has always been part of early childhood development. If the device or screen is not putting off dangerous levels of EMF’s, which can be looked up on Apple’s website, then I’m not sure why this is a problem.

      It’s not like they are going to choke on it.

        1. I agree 100%. Each parent must choose what is best for their children. It is not the job of a fanatical group to make decisions for them or to blame others for lack of parental responsibility.

          Personally I filled my children’s rooms with red, black and white colors to stimulate them when they wer babies. Not the soft colors of pale yellow, pinks and baby blue. Did it help, I have no idea but they are both outstanding young adults and currently in college and living life to the fullest. Do you you really think and iPad or lack of one would have change how my wife and I parented our children? I think not. These people need to get a life and stop trying to force their views on others.

          1. You’ll find sources right at the start of the article for the NYTimes and the American Pediatric Association unless you’d rather attack me like a mindless troll without looking at the links they clearly provide.

      1. Are you on crack Rorschach? The use of books has been shown in neurological tests to stimulate parts of the mind relating to imagination, emotion and reasoning. Cartoons and television creates no such neurological reaction.

        1. That whistling noise you hear is Rorschach’s point sailing clean over your head…

          He was making the point that the “no virtual worlds” argument (that MacSmiley was making) was a fatally flawed one.

          1. I think MacSmiley meant something rather specific when he said “virtual world” (for those who didn’t get it, he was referring to images displayed on various screens in our life, as opposed to the images of people and other objects actually surrounding us).

  2. Wow. Starting to see where the “Nanny State” takes its queues, judging by two of the first three comments to be posted on this article here on MDN.

    First, slotting an iPad into the holder is -optional-. Second, even if you do place one in there, they recommend you use -their-apps, which stimulate for short periods then time out, after 10 to 12 minutes. There’s nothing in doing that which is in the least way harmful to infants, unless the apps in question are video montages of death and destruction, or graphically pornographic.

    It’s -not- developing in them a dependency on the virtual world any more than pictures of safari animals painted across a border around their room, or the starscape recreated on their ceiling. And it won’t be harmful in distracting them from their ‘real’ surroundings if it’s set to time out after ten minutes if so.

    Stimulating reactions based on color, shapes and sounds is crucial to infant development. It doesn’t matter the source, so long as it doesn’t replace actual affection and stimulation from other human beings. And, frankly, if the iPad is being used as a substitute for human interaction by parents, they’ll find a way to ignore their children with or without an iPad slotted into that product.

  3. There is no substitute for common sense.

    1- No baby should be left for that amount of time in this or any other contraption. Part of the joy and responsibility of raising a child is play time and active interaction and engagement. Slapping a kid in front of a TV or an iPad for an extended period is negligence.
    2- Extended staring at a screen causes stress on the eyes and they move very differently from the way they would by looking at the world around them. Many also do not blink sufficiently which could cause eye irritation.

    iPads for small children should be an enrichment tool- not a babysitter. Most people who shortchange the time spent with their children when they are small regret it after it is too late. Get down on the carpet/rug/blanket with your kid and play with them- it is a limited time engagement you will remember fondly when they are grown.

    1. Do you have children? Quite frankly, as even before I was a single mother, there were times I had something I had to do during which I couldn’t hold my baby 24/7. And that’s as bad for them as being neglected in the first place.

      Keeping your child occupied and entertained and secure even when you can’t physically be holding and interacting with them is important, and products like these–while often misused by lazy parents–are critical to getting things that have to be done done.

      Please get off your soapbox and Stop blaming products which have a useful and responsible purpose for the irresponsibility of lazy and neglectful parents.

      1. My point was that a child should not be left in a seat for the extended periods (2 hours) that the panel suggested children not be exposed to screens.

        Many people spend more interactive time with their dogs than with their children. Turn off the TV and interact with your child.

        Don’t be so defensive.

        1. No one, especially not the manufacturer, is suggesting leaving your children in this thing for two hours. And yes, you’re unfortunately correct that many parents don’t spend enough time with their children. I still don’t see how this product encourages that trend. Parents who will do so will do so with or without it.

          Having them look at an iPad screen for short ten-minute periods isn’t harmful unless it’s in a dimly-lit room at night when it poses the same danger of screwing with their sleep-cycle as it does for anyone else. And god knows infants need nothing to help screw with their already random sleep-cycles…

  4. It’s so funny. I have this huge argument going on with a bunch of silly parents on Amazon. They’re acting like this thing was created by Hitler to eat their children’s brains or something. No one is suggesting that you park your infant in this chair and leave them for the rest of the day. I personally see many compelling apps for infants that could be developed. I think no more than an hour a day would be fine.

    If you listen to the parents that complain about the device, the comments quickly shift from a problem with infant development to their dislike of technology in general. These are the people who hate smartphones, hate tablets, etc. They start talking about violence in computer games. I point out it isn’t going to destroy a baby to touch a screen and see pretty pictures and hear fun sounds while you take a crap. I’m not talking about giving them Grand Theft Auto here.

    Vicious luddites is what they are.

      1. I think the reactions described certainly go way beyond concerned parents. It is one thing to rationally discuss the danger of leaving a child staring at an iPad for 12 minutes; it is entirely different when the discussion regresses into a debate about violence on TV and in video games (an issue related NOT just to this specific product, but to all devices capable of playing computer games).

  5. But how else is my baby going to get caught up on Game of Thrones? A lot of serious stuff happened when he was in the womb. You can’t just expect him to jump in now and know what’s going on!

  6. While I agree that a child watching TV or an iPad too early can hinder development quite severely, is banning a product the answer?

    Does this group lobby for the removal of TVs from the home? Pacifiers / Ritalin from the same? These are also used by some parents to avoid the effort of connecting with their kids or spend the time and effort to interact properly.

    As a father of 4 young ones I understand how hard it is – parenting is a full time job that pays no money and takes true selflessness.

    iPads can be part of a positive learning experience as can videos etc – but if they take the place of human love and interaction the child will suffer huge detriment. If a child learns to play mainly through any computer / virtual reality, they will often become conditioned to think life is easy, others don’t matter, life is cheap and there is always an easy way.

    But children can also learn to express themselves on an iPad as much as a pen and paper.

    As always parents need to continually ask themselves the hard questions on every activity:
    Does the toy, TV, game, sport, iPad, friend, group, school etc help the child interact with others? Does it help them learn or express within the confines of normal life rules? Does it help them become and grow into the person God intended them to be? Or is it an easy cheap entertainment for here and now – so I get some time out, rest, play etc.

    If the later, the cycle of escapism will continue, if the former, the children will become leaders, dedicated parents, creative inspirations and more – contributing positively to society as a whole.

    On another note, thank God that He didn’t just pacify us – but He came and interacted with us through Jesus, rescuing us from our sin. Wow something to be excited about this Christmas!!!

      1. Sorry I couldn’t resist!

        I see someone has already voted down your comment – I expected the opposite. Yours is a common response – like the principles and common sense of our Creator, but deny Him.

        I had that position for years – for my children’s sake I am so very thankful.

        My father left before I was born, I grew up in abusive surroundings and became addicted to many substances / things. My life was full of hatred and anger – so much so my relatives thought I was unfit to have pets (they were probably right). But since Jesus rescued me and continues to change me, I am able to live a life of love for and with my kids…in fact same relatives have urged me to write a book on parenting (!).

        Not because I learned things…but because God has and is changing me.

        Have a great Christmas!

    1. It always amuses me how some people have to make sure everyone else knows they don’t like Obama… sort of like a security blanket so all your friends will accept you and think you’re smart (“I’m smaaart” – Fredo Corleone.) The way you do this is by dragging Obama’s name into every possible discussion unrelated to Obama. This wonderful tip must have been from one of those websites, you know, like Top Ten lines to mumble to babes at a bar guaranteed to get you laid or your money back.

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