Loose Women's Carol McGiffin compares letting kids play with tablets to 'giving them a dummy'

5 May 2022, 11:03 | Updated: 6 May 2022, 16:10

Carol compared tablets to dummies during a debate on Loose Women
Carol compared tablets to dummies during a debate on Loose Women. Picture: Getty/Shutterstock

Carol was discussing allowing kids screen time in a recent episode of Loose Women.

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Loose Women panellist Carol McGiffin caused a stir earlier this week after comparing allowing kids to play with tablets to 'giving them a dummy'.

The presenter said that she disapproves of giving kids iPads to play with during long car journeys, arguing that they miss out if they're tuned into a device.

The conversation began when host Ruth Langsford asked "Are you an iPad parent?", to which she replied that kids missed out in nature if they were "distracted and busy all the time".

She went on to argue that giving a child a tablet on a long journey was like "trying to keep them quiet".

Her fellow panellist Katie Piper, however, said that she was an iPad parent, saying: "I think it’s important to be transparent. I don’t think you can have and do it all.

"We let our kids have a tablet."

Carol said that kids could miss out if they're given tablets to play with
Carol said that kids could miss out if they're given tablets to play with. Picture: Shutterstock

After Ruth asked if it was for her benefit or theirs, she replied that it was 'mutually beneficial'.

In response to this, Carol said: "This whole thing that kids have to be distracted and busy all the time and they can't be bored on a car journey for a few hours and look at nature, look at the trees and try and play I Spy…"

Katie later said tablets were like a 'portable telly', prompting Carol to respond: "Portable telly? I'm sorry it's a pacifier, it's like a dummy. Give the kid a dummy in the back, keep them quiet.

"Mostly parents give their kids things like that to distract them because they’re too busy on their phones to entertain their own kids."

Do you let your kids play with iPads in the car? (stock image)
Do you let your kids play with iPads in the car? (stock image). Picture: Getty

The conversation caused quite a stir on social media, with one person writing: "As a mum that regularly travels 4+ hours with 3 children (3,12&14) I certainly don't see anything wrong with using devices."

Another added: "I think it's only fair children have something to distract them, long journeys are tough enough for adults never mind kids."

And a third wrote: "Really? This is the discussion today? I don’t sit staring out of the window on flights for 4 hours so why should kids? I don’t sit in silence when I drive I listen to podcasts. I enjoy the tv, why shouldn’t children?"