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A child plays a game from Tickle Tap Apps.

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The roster of things to shield modern babies from - sugar, salt, sun, BPA, parabens, etc - just got a catchy new addition: the "finger slide." Actress Leelee Sobieski is responsible for this one. In an interview with People magazine, she said she refuses to let her 17-month-old daughter, Lousianna, watch educational TV shows or use her iPod.

Ms. Sobieski is no Luddite, but she points out it is a little alarming how dexterous tots are today.

"I don't want her to not be able to talk with her friends about what's going on, but I really want to encourage the reading and the playing. ... A lot of kids now in New York I see can open an iPhone before they can even walk practically. [They do]the finger slide," she said to the magazine.

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"No Baby Einstein and no anything else," added Ms. Sobieski, 28. "Right now she watches this one song called The Elephant Song on the computer. It's paper cut-outs that are animated so it's more like a cartoon. And then she watches a five minute clip … of The Red Balloon - the French short film. And that's it."

Over at a Today's Parent online, blogger Haley O mused about how the finger slide has infiltrated kids' skill sets.

"I personally am amazed whenever I see my 3.5-year-old son play on his dad's iPod. He does the finger slide like it's a part of nature. Like nature made the iPod. No big deal. Blasé. Just a finger slide. Then he thinks you can finger slide on every screen."

You have to admit, "finger slide" does roll off the tongue. But is it something to hold off on - or is trying to get between children and technology a losing battle?

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About the Author

Tralee Pearce has been a reporter at The Globe and Mail since 1999, starting as a writer in the paper’s Style section. She joined the new Life section for its launch in 2007. She covers parenting and family issues for the daily section. More

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