iPad Seat for Infants Criticized

January 13, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. hover /ˈhʌvər, ˈhɒv-/ (v.) – to be suspended or to float in the air
Example: A huge bee is hovering over the child’s head.

2. glue /glu/ (v.) – to stay at one place by paying full attention to a person or an object
Example: The children are glued to the animated film being shown on TV.

3. supervision /ˌsupərˈvɪʒən/ (n.) – the act of directing and watching over what someone is doing
Example: Babies and toddlers need much supervision from their parents.

4. foster /ˈfɔstər, ˈfɒstər/ (n.) – to develop or promote something
Example: The organization conducted a feeding program to foster the health of malnourished children in the slums.  

5. undermine /ˌʌndərˈmaɪn/ (v). – to weaken something
Example: A busy lifestyle can undermine interactions and relationships in the family. 


Read the text below.
The company Fisher-Price has recently introduced the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad.

This seat is a reclining bouncy chair with an attached case hovering inches above the baby’s face. Parents can enclose an iPad into the attached case. This new product can make babies glued to the gadget even though they could not hold or swipe on the iPad. As a result, the infant may require less supervision.

This product has raised strong criticisms from both parents and child-welfare advocates. They say that exposing children to screen technology at such a young age is damaging not only to their health but also to their development.

According to Susan Linn, director of the child advocacy group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the product is the ultimate “baby-sitter” and seems to be endorsing the idea that leaving an infant alone is fine.

The group expressed its displeasure by launching a letter-writing campaign that would plead with Mattel, the parent-company of Fisher-Price, to stop selling the product. Linn added that Mattel should stay true to its purpose of creating products that foster and not undermine interactions between an infant and its caregiver.

On another note, Mattel has not responded to the criticisms yet. Instead, it promotes the seat as something that aids a baby’s physical development. In its website, Fisher-Price describes the product as a soothing and entertaining seat with a touch of technology.

Despite its enticing description, the product continues to receive criticisms and negative reviews.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were a parent, would you try this product for your baby? Why or why not?
·         Do you think Fisher-Price should stop producing this product? Why is that so?

Discussion B

·         Do you think it is appropriate to expose babies to technology early on? Why or why not?
·         How can children be protected from the negative effects of technology? Explain.


January 13, 2014