By Susie Jones

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A University of Minnesota Family Science professor has some advice for parents who may have given the gift of an iPod Touch to their children over the holidays after a 6-year-old Chicago-area girl rang up $400 worth of apps on her new device.

The little girl’s parents blame pop-up ads and say it’s the gaming companies that are preying on children. But Bill Doherty said it’s the parents job to monitor the electronic activity of their children.

“When they receive gifts … that exposes them to the whole world they are at risk and in this case they were at risk of the family having to pay a lot of money,” he said.

Doherty said young children are not ready to handle the responsibilities of owning and operating some electronic devices.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Susie Jones Interviews Bill Doherty

Comments (15)
  1. John says:

    If they can afford a Ipod for a 6 year old they can pay the 400.00 bill for the apps. Crazy parents!!!! a Ipod for a 6 year old. What is the world comming to????????

  2. Eric says:

    Giving a child an ipod touch is the same as setting them in front of the computer with full internet access.

    1. BGW says:

      Actually, from a financial exposure standpoint I’d say the iPod Touch is much worse. Mind, you, I love the iPod Touch — in my household we have two of them, plus an iPad and an iPhone. I also have kids — they are grown now, but my youngest could “mouse” before she could write her own name, and we’re a pretty tech-savvy family. But it is far, far easier to ring up purchases with an iTouch then it is with almost any computer web site I’ve seen. You have to make a conscious decision to enable web purchases or eCommerce activities on a PC surfing the web, and making a buying decision on eBay doesn’t mean you are financially “enabled” for Amazon, for example. But the Apple iTouch virtually requires that you enable eCommerce and provide a credit card number to make the device usable, and once that info is stored in your profile purchases are just a single, user password away. What’s more, making even a single “free” purchase (which still requires the magic password) then leaves your iTouch, iPod, or iPad open to subsequent purchases (free or $$) for the next 5-10 minutes, WITHOUT having to re-enter a password. I’m guessing most parents buying this type of technology for their kids have no idea what the possible implications of this is.

  3. Michelle says:

    Don’t you need an active credit card on the device to download items that cost money? Who would put an active credit card on a childs account? Isn’t that what Itunes gift cards are for?

    1. Mom says:

      I agree! We don’t have a credit card number assigned to our account. If our son ever wants to purchase an app or songs, he needs permission first.

  4. Ben says:

    My three year old uses one all the time safely, I just have a password for purchases.

    1. LT says:

      what i wonder is why would you give a 3yr old an ipod touch????? its worse then a tv to me thats an easy way for “parents” not wanting to handle the responsibility of actually parenting” a 3 yr old is to young for an ipod i have a 3 yr old

  5. Really??? says:

    Are those the same parents that fed their child a Happy Meal every day and now blame the fast food industry because their kids are fat? They sound like the same people. I feel bad for them. They are doing everything right and no one else is taking responsibility for their children. What has this world come to?

  6. Brad says:

    I am quite grateful that a report out of a University in this country is calling for parental responsibility, and not claiming that it is everyone else’s job to protect their children. Kudos to the U!

  7. Dan says:

    I have an 8 y/o son that has an ipod. He is autistic. I have downloaded apps for him and use my account. If I forget to change the settings on the ipod when I am done, and he orders stuff, that’s my fault. In fact he did this once. He ordered the whole Dr Suess collection. I got kind of a chuckle out of it….. I look at it as a lesson learned.

  8. Kelly Miller says:

    I think some of the responses are just absolutely comical!
    You all are complaining about giving a 3 year old an ipod and happy meals make kids fat….GIVE ME A BREAK!!
    I agree some kiddos are immature and do not need a ipod and a lot of that is due to irresponsible parent(s) that just let’s their children do as they wish….
    On the other hand let me wake you all negative people up and inform you that believe it or not there is still very responsible parents in this world that actually care for their children and make them mind and discipline them when needed! There are such things as passwords and locks to prevent children from going to sites or ordering apps so as someone else stated if they forget to lock it or set a password then they are responsible for whatever charges incur and consider it a lesson learned!(I bet they won’t forget again)
    So to all you haters out there get over it and worry about your own family….your kids are the ones that need the attention and will be so far behind in technology when that is what this world is coming to! Get them kids an ipod!

  9. Djohnson says:

    My three year old an my eight year old use my ipod but I don’t have a credit card stored on it. They have to come to me for the password so I can monitor what they download. Children are going to grow up in a tech savy world and technology is going to become more and more compex. The internet can be locked and all they want to do is play games. It cuts down on clutter in my house and there are a ton of educational apps they can use. I don’t want them to have the same knowledge of technology as my grandma when they grow up. Responsible parents will take care of their children when they detect a problem.

  10. online unique article says:

    You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I find this matter to be really one thing that I feel I would by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very large for me. I am having a look forward for your subsequent submit, I will try to get the hang of it!

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