DENVER — With Christmas just two weeks away, parents are feeling the pressure to pick out the perfect presents.
But there’s a couple you can consider crossing off your list.
One is the winner of the Worst Toy of the Year.
Members of Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood awarded this year’s TOADY award to the iPotty by CTA Digital.
TOADY stands for Toys Oppressive and Destructive to Young Children.
The group also is pushing for a recall of another product.
They say both take technology too far.
Kids learn to play nice with others. They learn to tie their shoes.
And now one company wants to help kids learn to go to the bathroom with the 2-in-1 iPotty With Activity Seat for iPad.
“My first reaction was, ‘Oh my God, someone invented that?’” chuckles mother of two, Kristi Leach.
Some parents say the toy is just crap.
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood says it’s also the Worst Toy of the Year.
“The media industry and the tech industry are doing all they can to insinuate screens into every moment of children’s lives,” says Susan Linn who heads the organization.
She says, “The message to parents is you aren’t able to toilet train without this. That is not true. Babies have been mastering toilet training since the beginning of history—without an iPad.”
The group also wants Fisher-Price to recall one of its products that uses technology too: the Newborn-To-Toddler Apptivity Seat for iPad.
The child advocacy group claims it can harm a child’s brain development.
“This actually imposes an iPad between the baby and rest of the world. So it blocks a baby’s vision. So the only thing they focus on is the screen,” says Linn.
Medical doctors agree—too much time in front of a computer or TV screen is harmful.
“Most kids in the U.S. use a screen 7 to 8 hours a day. Too much screen time leads to obesity, school problems, sleeping problems, and behavior issues,” says Dr. Kristin Woodward.
Moms we talked to say the products will probably flop—especially since pediatricians say children under two should have no screen time.
“She needs to learn how use her motor skills and her mind on her own,” says mom of two, Melissa Gallic.
“Too much computer in front of his face, it’s not something I need to add extra time on,” says mom of a four-year-old, Faith Dea.
Instead, the better toys don’t involve technology at all.
“The best toys they lie there until the child picks them up and transforms them into something else. The best toys are 90 percent child, 10 percent toy,” says Linn.
Fisher-Price says the bar that holds the iPad on its Apptivity Seat can be removed or it can be used with just a mirror.