While the American Academy of Pediatrics is fervently reminding parents to limit screen time of children and further recommends allowing zero screen time at all for kids under 2 years old, tech companies like Apple are busy creating products like this iPad apptivity seat seen here.
This is a gross mis-invention that plays on our growing need to techify everything while at the same time we thirst for the new and improved shortcuts in life. This is both about over the top consumerism and laziness. It seems like hustle and bustle is praised while overloading our lives with things makes us too busy to hold our kids, so we hunger for inventions to plug them in to. If we can just plop our kids down and plug them into apps, the technology can raise them while we feel great about it because we get tricked into thinking they are learning something that we can’t give them like math facts at 2 months old. This is bullshit, and needs to stop. Shame on the companies that make products like this and shame on us parents for letting our kids get suckered into being obsessed about technology practically before they learn how to roll over.
Today the CCFC sent the following letter to Apple’s CEO demanding that the company end its licensing agreement with Fisher-Price for the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad Device.
January 14, 2014
Tim Cook, CEO
1 Infinite Loop
Cupertino, CA 95014
Dear Mr. Cook,
We are writing to urge Apple to end its licensing agreement for Fisher-Price’s Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® Device. 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. Its design encourages parents to strap down babies as young as newborns just inches from an iPad. We understand that Apple believes it is not responsible for the content of apps and videos made for its devices. Clearly Apple is responsible, however, when it grants a license to a product whose design promotes irresponsible use of iPads and is potentially harmful to infants and toddlers.
The Apptivity Seat is a greater threat to babies’ healthy development than any other screen device. Because the iPad screen is unavoidable, infants are literally a captive audience. In addition, screens can be mesmerizing and since babies are strapped down and “safely” restrained, it encourages parents to leave infants alone with the iPad for extended periods of time*. While screen media for babies is controversial, no experts endorse leaving babies as young as newborns alone with an iPad and many believe that it is harmful—depriving infants of activities and interactions proven to be crucial to learning and healthy development.
The Apptivity Seat has clearly damaged Fisher-Price’s brand. CCFC’s petition urging Fisher-Price to recall the Apptivity Seat has nearly 13,000 signatories—more than any petition we’ve hosted in our 13-year history. The Apptivity Seat has also been the focus of dozens of scathing articles and opinion pieces. In response, Fisher-Price has taken the unusual step of distancing itself from its own product by placing a disclaimer about it on its website.
Fisher-Price does not bear all of the responsibility for the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® Device. By licensing the iPad to Fisher-Price, Apple is equally responsible.
We have enclosed a copy of the petition which we sent to Fisher-Price, along with excerpts of selected comments that parents and professionals wrote on the petition. We hope you will take their concerns seriously and end your licensing agreement with Fisher-Price for the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity™ Seat for iPad® Device. We also ask that you pledge not to license the iPad or iPhone or any other Apple screen device to a product that literally makes babies a captive audience. We welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you further.
Susan Linn, EdD, Director, CCFC
Josh Golin, Associate Director, CCFC