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5 Things to consider when buying kids tech

24 Nov 2017 15:29:48

Did you know that around 46 million people in the UK own a smartphone? That number is set to grow to about 53 million by 2022. Whether you consider yourself a “techie” person or not, it’s hard to ignore the importance of mobile technology and the impact it has had on our lives at home and at work.

 When it comes to selecting the right devices for ourselves, there’s a lot of options and it can be complicated. But that’s nothing compared to the questions we have when we’re buying tech for our kids - is it safe? Will they be able to use it? Is it good value for money? And these questions only get more difficult as our children get older. 


If you are thinking of buying a tablet, smartphone, smartwatch or even a laptop for your child, you need to be sure that they are well prepared. Smartphones are generally not suitable for young children, but for more mature kids they can be a good option - and only you as a parent will know whether they can handle the responsibility or not. In any case, you must make sure they understand how powerful the technology is, because you will have to trust them to use it safely.




So what should we consider when buying technology for our children?


1. Internet training


Before letting your younger children loose on any kind of internet-enabled tech, visit the Carnegie Cyber Academy together. This colourful and interesting website is aimed at children 9 years old and up. It helps kids - or Cyber Cadets - learn about internet safety and best practises in a fun way. When they graduate they will be fully-fledged Cyber Defenders! 


For older kids, CyberWise might be more appropriate. The website has a range of resources that help children use the internet and related technology safely and with confidence.


2. In-built Safety Features


If you are buying a device which has been designed for children, there are a number of online safety features you should look out for:


  • A limited app store that only features age-appropriate educational apps and games.
  • Restricted access to websites and social media sites. If an internet browser is installed, you want to be sure your kids cannot access unsuitable material online.
  • Time-limiting software. As a parent you should also be aware of how long your kids are using this technology for. Certain tablets, like Amazon Fire Kids’ Edition and LeapFrog Epic allow parents to set time restrictions.

3. Parental Control Apps


However, if your child already has access to an unrestricted computer, tablet or smartphone - think about installing Qustodio. It works for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and a few other operating systems. It’s a freemium service that allows you to set browsing rules, block unsuitable websites, and impose a time schedule to control when it can be used.


Alternatively, for mobile devices, try the free monitoring app WebSafety, which is available for iOS and Android. It will help you keep an eye on your child’s internet activity and allows you to manage more than one device at a time.


4. Value for Money


Technology comes with a price and the last thing you want to do is buy something for your kids that won’t hold their interest for more than just a few months. 


Look for products that have a wide selection of apps and don’t look too “babyish”, so they stay relevant as your child’s tastes evolve.

5. Durability


Smartphones, smartwatches and tablets are quite delicate things. While they can survive a drop or two, you might want to consider purchasing a kid-proof case to protect the technology from accidental damage or destruction.


Also bear in mind that smaller screens are generally easier for younger children to handle, so avoid buying full-size tablets (iPad minis have a good screen size for children).


Take the time to consider the best tech for your kid. You will be able to relax knowing that your child has the right device with the right parental controls. Make the right choice and it will keep them safe and entertained for a long time to come.



Check the Wowzr store now to find the TickTalk 2.0, a wearable kids’ smartphone and app with built-in GPS security features.

Posted in Wowzr At Work Bright Ideas News By

Kaspars Celmalnieks