As more children are getting their hands on technology from a younger age, a new survey reveals that half of UK parents have their devices ruined by kids.
The survey of 1,000 UK parents, by LeapFrog Toys, reveals that one in 10 have had their device submerged in water, including dropping it down the toilet, 20 per cent have deemed their gadget unusable after sticky fingers all over the screen, and 15 per cent have made accidental calls – including to the emergency services.
A further 11 per cent have never seen their device again after their child lost it and one in five parents have had their tablet or smartphone screens cracked by their kids, causing insurance claims or expensive replacements.
Despite the inevitable mishaps, the survey also reveals that 43 per cent of parents give children their own adult devices, with 67 per cent of those not actually supervising their usage and 58 per cent not setting basic parental controls. Over a third (34 per cent) of kids also know the passwords to their parents devices, which will undoubtedly lead to young eyes viewing inappropriate content or downloading expensive apps.
The survey was commissioned to mark the launch of LeapFrog’s new Android-based kid-safe tablet, LeapFrog Epic, which is designed especially for kids ages three to nine. LeapFrog is encouraging parents to ‘Take Back Your Tech’ and be aware of the risks of children not having kid-safe devices.
Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos, director of LeapFrog’s Learning Team comments: “This research highlights the wealth of risks that come with allowing a child to use an adult device – from damage and inappropriate content to actual loss of the device. Quite simply, these devices aren’t built to withstand child’s play. Investing in a dedicated kids tablet where possible can really offer parents peace of mind when it comes to the type of content their kids are viewing, as well as allow them to reclaim, if not save, their own tech from the hands of their little ones.”
Commenting on the role of technology in children’s lives today, she adds: “Technology can play a positive role in a child’s development when coupled with the right educational content and we passionately believe that it can form part of a varied healthy play diet if responsible boundaries are set.”
The new Android-based kids tablet, Epic, launches Monday 5th October.