For Immediate Release
CCFC to Apple: No iPad bouncy seats
BOSTON - Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is demanding that Apple end its licensing agreement with Fisher-Price for the notorious 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. In a letter to CEO Tim Cook, CCFC urged Apple to end its licensing agreement with Fischer-Price and pledge not to license the iPad, iPhone or any other screen device to a product that literally makes babies a captive audience.
“The Apptivity Seat is a greater threat to babies’ healthy development than any other screen-enabled device,” said CCFC’s director Dr. Susan Linn. “The seat's design encourages parents to leave infants alone, strapped down for extended periods of time with an iPad just inches from their face.”
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.
“The iPad bouncy seat has clearly damaged Fischer-Price’s reputation as a producer of quality educational toys for young children,” said Dr. Linn. “But Apple is equally responsible for putting infants at risk by licensing its popular iPad to such a terrible product.”
“The November 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement ‘Media Use by Children Under Age Two’ specifically states, ‘Young children learn best and need interaction with humans not screens,’” said Dr. Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, a member of the AAP Council on Media and Communications. “Unstructured ‘free’ play time promotes creativity as well as language, social and problem solving skills in our youngest patients. Pediatricians recognize that parents want the best for their very young children but screens are not the optimal approach for their early brain development. Companies should respect the research on what promotes optimal brain development—consistent playful interactions with family members and caregivers.”
The complete text of CCFC’s letter to Apple can be found at http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/blog/ccfc-apple-no-ipad-bouncy-seats
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is a national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned parents who counter the harmful effects of marketing to children through action, advocacy, education, research, and collaboration among organizations and individuals who care about children. CCFC is a project of Third Sector New England (www.tsne.org).