Saturday, 12 October 2013

Do you let your children play with your smartphone or iPad?

Because according to a recent survey by LeapFrog UK*, 60% of us do. But a recent Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report on ‘in-app purchasing’ pointing out the cost of 'in-app' purchases highlights just one of the potential dangers of doing so. A further 13 per cent of parents surveyed admit to giving children the passwords required to log in for themselves - running the risk of making them a mere click away from chargeable or inappropriate content.

Chris Spalding, SVP & Managing Director EMEA/Australasia of LeapFrog UK comments: “Whilst the OFT report examines in-app purchasing in detail, in reality it also places a spotlight on the wider issue of child-safe technology as a whole.

“As smart phones and adult tablets become more prevalent in households with children, it is not just about incurring costs accidentally, but also about children potentially experiencing inappropriate content via the internet. We value the learning experiences that technology brings and with our range of dedicated kids’ learning tablets we offer parents the best tablet experience with more than 500 engaging and entertaining experiences all of which have been approved by our learning experts. This gives parents peace of mind as they let their children independently discover, play and explore valuable web content.”

Education expert, Janette Wallis adds: “With one in 10 children knowing passwords for adult smart phones or tablets at home, it is no surprise that this survey found that almost one in five parents have discovered their child at times, using their device without permission.

“These devices can be wonderfully educational and entertaining for children, but their Wi-Fi capabilities also mean that children can stray into inappropriate or adult areas online, especially if unsupervised. Parents can take simple measures to control their child’s tech experiences but don’t always know where to start- this is where brands within this sector could help.”

Of course, there is a solution. Several, in fact - many of them provided by Leap Frog! If you want to make certain that your child is safe then a dedicated child-specific learning tablet is probably the answer. And it also has the added advantage of meaning you get your smartphone/tablet back... before bedtime.
LeapFrog’s newest device, LeapPad Ultra, is billed as 'the ultimate learning tablet for kids' and I'll be reviewing it in a few weeks time. I'll also be posting a review of the Black Sheep Brewery Bistro, Masham, for those of you who don't know it and are near enough to try it. What's the connection, I hear you ask?

Well, this:

Oh yes. Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol. All I wanted was the b***dy 'phone number! But in an effort to prevent those little fingers straying into regions they really ought not to visit, I've signed up my ISP's content filter, HomeSafe.

And it works.

Thankfully, I did manage to telephone the Brewery; I did manage to book a table; we did have a lovely meal there last Saturday.

And I'll tell you all about it another time.

*LeapFrog used market research company OnePoll who surveyed 2,000 British parents with children aged four - eight from a nationally representative sample, between 21 and 27 June 2013.

*Office of Fair Trading stat, 2013


  1. My ten year old is pretty inept at accessing my stuff at the moment but it's only a matter of time. I changed the settings on my Mac recently so that no one can use it without my password (which no one else has). Occasionally he needs to use it to write an essay, but I always take it from him and sign myself in.
    The other night I told him (half jokingly) to turn away and he said "Mom your password is so long it's take me weeks to memorise it." Mwa ha ha.

    1. That sounds pretty secure EM... but for how long?!!


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