Caring

Joanita Wibowo

Queensland mother hits back at critics over $8 Kmart pram hack

Queensland mother hits back at critics over $8 Kmart pram hack

A Brisbane mother, who shared a pram hack to keep her child occupied during shopping trips, has had to defend herself after social media users called her out for “bad parenting”.

21-year-old Tayla Hutchinson shared an $8 trick from Kmart to keep her son Western, who has severe developmental delays, calm during outings on her Instagram and Facebook pages.

She explained that she uses an $8 Smartphone Flexi Tripod from the discount department store to hold her phone on the pram or trolley to keep Western entertained while she finishes her shopping.

“The legs on the tripod are completely flexible, so you can adjust it to your pram or trolley,” she told news.com.au.

“The hack doesn’t hurt his neck, he can’t throw my phone, and it’s not sitting so close to his face. Not to mention it distracts him from everything else going on around him that might make him unsettled.”

Some fellow mothers applauded the “brilliant” hack, saying that it will help many parents avoid public meltdowns. 

“We need more love and less judgment. Anything to help another parent out,” one commented.

However, Hutchinson said she also received “nasty” comments for exposing her young child to too much time in front of screens. 

“They were mainly about how technology has so much radiation, and how we’re growing a generation that’s always on their phones,” said Hutchinson.

“I get judged a lot for the way he behaves in public, and now I’m getting judged for trying to prevent it … Oh well, you can’t please everyone.

“I’m not worried about people calling my hack ‘bad parenting’, all I care about is keeping my child calm and happy.”

Earlier this month, a two-year-old Chinese girl was reported to develop severe myopia following prolonged use of a smartphone to watch shows.

Studies have suggested that high screen time on TV or computers may have detrimental effects on children’s development, including issues with attention, problem solving, memory and communication skills.

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against media use for infants younger than 18 months, and recommends to limit children aged 2 to 5 to an hour of screen time per day.

Many parents have found this recommendation to be incompatible with the reality of parenting today. 

“It's kind of like McDonald’s,” father-of-one Steve Molloy told 7.30

“No-one admits to going to McDonald's, but obviously people are going. So, I think there is a bit of a stigma in it.”