With the findings of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) probe report on ‘in-app purchasing’ released today, a timely survey by LeapFrog UK reveals that one in 10 UK families have seen their child accidentally rack up bills whilst they play with an adult smart phone or tablet device.
The survey, commissioned by the educational entertainment leader, reveals that 60 per cent of survey respondents now give their children their adult devices to play with at home with a further 13 per cent providing them with required passwords to log in themselves.
Almost half (43 per cent) of respondents say they recognise the educational value of technology in children’s lives, but with children often just a click away from chargeable or inappropriate content, more than a quarter of those parents (26 per cent) admit they do not always have the time to supervise their child when using their technology and will not always be in the same room as they play with devices.
As rationale for the report, the OFT has revealed that 80 of the 100 top-grossing Android apps in the UK earlier this year were free to install but raised revenue through in-app purchases.*
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.”
The LeapFrog survey also highlights that one in 10 parents have purchased a child specific learning tablet, allowing them to not only reclaim their own devices from their children, but also limit online play dangers.
LeapFrog’s newest device, LeapPad Ultra, is the ultimate learning tablet for kids and the ideal solution for those parents worried about their child’s use of tech devices and online accessibility. The perfect combination of learning and fun, this Wi-Fi connected tablet boasts more than 500 interactive educational games, creativity apps, eBooks, videos, music and more, all designed or approved by LeapFrog’s highly experienced team of learning experts. It also features a kid-safe web content experience, LeapSearch™, created in partnership with Zui™, a leading children’s browser developer. LeapSearch is kid-ready out of the box and delivers an experience that parents can trust.
Unique to LeapPad Ultra, a seven-inch high-resolution screen is designed to help children learn to write using a stylus while supporting interactive touch experiences. LeapPad Ultra also features a sleek new look, a long-lasting rechargeable battery, and front and back cameras and video recorders plus 8 GB of storage for photos, apps, videos and more.
LeapPad Ultra, already tipped by Argos, Hamleys and The Entertainer to be a best seller this Christmas, is now available in major retailers nationwide.
For more information on LeapPad Ultra, visit: http://www.leapfrog.com/en_gb/landingpages/leappadultra.html or for the latest information on LeapFrog UK, Like our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LeapFrogUK.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. LeapFrog UK have sent me the information and I thought it was useful for all parents to know. It is not a problem I have had to deal with yet but am sure I will need to watch out for possible in -app purchases in the near future.