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EMF Studies

11 October 2016

Smartwatch Helps Children As Young As 4 Years Old Count Their Steps

From the product manual:  "This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses and can radiate radio frequency energy.  

We also question whether the deplorable working conditions in VTech's factories in China have been improved.

Gadget which helps children as young as four count steps is one of Hamleys must-have gifts
by Lexi Finnigan, The Telegraph, 6 October 2016

A gadget which helps children as young as four years old count their steps is set to be one of the must-have gifts of the year, according to Hamleys.

The £43 smartwatch, made my electronic toy company VTech, features a pedometer designed to help kids track how much walking and running they are doing.

Aimed at children aged four and up, it also includes three action challenges such as the ‘Super Run’ sprinting test and the ‘Funky Jump’, which encourages users to “set an amount of time and start jumping as many times as you can”.

Psychologist Linda Blair claimed gadgets like the Kidizoom Smartwatch DX are “taking the wrong approach” to encouraging children to be active.

She said: “We know from studies that the best way to have a long and healthy life is to take exercise throughout your life – and the best way to get kids to exercise is having them to do something they enjoy. If it’s all about counting and competing, this is taking the wrong approach. How many people like counting? It’s no fun.

“The best toy a parent can give their kids to encourage activity is something like a tennis racquet – one for the child and one for the parent so they can play together. Tennis, for instance, is about interacting with other people rather than a machine.

“Counting and competing with yourself takes the fun out of it and it won’t sustain a child’s interest.

“If it was me I would watch my child closely and I would look at what they love – whether it’s throwing and catching or swimming and then encourage the child to enjoy those activities.

In addition to the action challenges and pedometer, the Kidizoom Smartwatch also takes photos and videos and shows the time.

In the instruction manual, the step tracker is described as “a simple pedometer to count how many steps you make when walking or running”.

It adds: “The watch should be worn on the wrist for improved counting accuracy.”

There is also a note which states: “This kid-friendly version of a pedometer is just for fun and this toy is not as accurate as a commercial pedometer for adults.”

Annie O’Leary, editor-in-chief of parenting website Netmums said: “We can understand why the thought of this gadget alarms some parents. The thought of children being conscious of taking exercise when they are supposed to be naturally active is strange.

“But with recent data showing the average child gets less activity than the average prisoner, this smartwatch might be quite useful for parents who are concerned about their child’s level of exercise.

“I think the important thing, as with all technology designed to be worn by children, is that it should be used in conjunction with parents. Children shouldn’t be using tools like this on their own.”

A spokesperson for VTech wouldn’t comment on the pedometer aspect of the watch but said: “The product is a fun smartwatch which has a camera, games and watch function as its primary features.”

Other gifts in Hamleys prediction of top 10 sellers this Christmas include a £25 game that smacks players in the face with either cream or a wet sponge. Another £25 game has players risking eating jelly beans flavoured to taste like rotten fish and milk that has gone off.


More info from the product manual:

"WARNING :  A very small percentage of the public, due to an existing condition, may experience epileptic seizures or momentary loss of consciousness when viewing certain types of flashing colors or patterns. While Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX does not contribute to any additional risks, we do recommend that parents supervise their children while they play games. If your child experiences dizziness, altered vision, disorientation, or convulsions, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor. Please note that focusing on at close range and handling a Kidizoom® Smartwatch DX as a game controller for a prolonged period of time may cause fatigue or discomfort. We recommend that children take a 15-minute break for every hour of play." 

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