Parents Turn To Cell Phones As High-Tech Rattles

Columbus, Ohio (AP) -- A mushrooming number of applications on smart phones have parents using them more than ever as modern baby rattles.

These wired-up phones allow some parents to play number and letter games with their preschoolers. Other parents get a few minutes of quiet as children watch movie clips on a plane or while waiting for a restaurant table.

People also are using their phones as parenting helpers by downloading applications to research nutrition information at the grocery store or to compare their babies' growth rate to the average.

And then there's the use of the phone as a rattle in the nearly old-fashioned sense.

One application shows spinning graphics and chimes when a child shakes the phone.

(Copyright 2009 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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