2 Year-Old Racks Up a $50 Bill on Her Mom's iPad. Could It Happen to You?

I admit that I occasionally rely on technology to entertain my kids for a few precious minutes. I let them play tic-tac-toe on my iPhone while we’re waiting for a restaurant meal, or log them onto the PBS website while I’m cooking dinner. These moves are usually made out of desperation, a weighing-of-options where technology trumps enduring a meltdown -- or turning on the TV. (At least I’m picking the educational option, I tell myself.) In most instances, the benefits outweigh the costs.

For Lisa Leigh, the cost was literal. The Aussie mom claims she was astounded to receive a $50 bill for a slew of iPad apps her toddler had somehow managed to purchase. Apparently three-year-old Sienna frequently “plays on [the iPad] for hours,” but her mum didn’t think much of it -- until the invoices started rolling in.

It turns out Leigh’s account settings were configured such that once she was logged in, the Apple store didn’t require a password for additional purchases. To her credit, Leigh didn’t pursue a refund for the apps, admitting that since her kids had already played them, it didn’t seem right.

Now, I’ve been guilty of leaving my kids unsupervised long enough to decorate an entire letter with postage stamps and tattoo their arms with Sharpies. But I was surprised that Leigh’s fix wasn’t to take the iPad away (the kid is on it hours a day? Really?), but to change her account settings and turn off the Wi-Fi that made such purchases possible in the first place. Maybe to this mom, a one-time $50 fee for the “babysitting app” seems like a steal.

Do you think parents should limit their kids' time using electronics like the iPad? Chime in below!

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