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The case for a car case for your iPad-loving child

Infantino Showcase

Available at: Walmart

Price: $14.99

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The design flaw in the Infantino Showcase seat-back iPad case is apparent as soon as I clip my four-year-old into his car seat: he can't reach it. Secured in his five-point restraints, he can't lean forward to swipe and tap the touch screen – which is about 80 per cent of the reason you have an iPad. This is the part where I confess that I am a terrible parent and admit that my son knows full well how to use Apple touch technology in all its forms, and can navigate between apps and videos like he was born to it. For any digital-native child, this barrier might be a deal breaker.

Unlike some built-in seat-back options, the Infantino is essentially just a slightly plush iPad case with a nylon strap that wraps around the headrest. Any child in a booster seat and up would likely have no trouble leaning forward to take control, and that's the ideal situation for it. If your child can't reach, drivers will find themselves tempted to reach behind and flip between Elmo and the Octonauts, and that doesn't sound safe. The other drawback of the Infantino is that it's designed only for the 10-inch iPad – other similar-size Android tablets would be an awkward fit and, in my household, we tend to travel with the eight-inch Apple slate.

Now, if you have a child big enough to be in the booster seat you might think, "Why don't they just hang on to it?" However, there is good reason to secure any heavy, rigid, glass-fronted, hard-edged device in your car when travelling with children: In an accident, an unsecured tablet could become a pound of shrapnel ricocheting around the cabin putting precious cargo at risk. So even if you don't like this case, I recommend finding a solution to keep your devices tethered in place.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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About the Author
Technology reporter

Shane Dingman is The Globe and Mail's technology reporter. He covers BlackBerry, Shopify and rising Canadian tech companies in Waterloo, Ont., Toronto and beyond. More

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