Who doesn’t love electronic gadgets? Kids certainly love them just as much – or more – than adults do. But kids are usually not the ones responsible for buying them. So, if you are one of the many grownups this year that will be or are considering a portable DVD player for kids as a gift, or any other electronic device for that matter, we’ve put together some basic tips to keep in mind before and after your purchase.
Understand the Warranty. Like any gadget, you’ll want to know ahead of time or upon opening the details of the warranty in the event of product malfunctions and failures. And while this of course this applies to grown up electronics too, kids’ toys can often come with shorter windows in which to report problems to customer service or obtain replacements. Also make sure that boxes, packing material and other items are saved just in case the product must be returned. Yes, this can be challenging to do when a child starts ripping open a gift, but you’ll be happy you did if you need to send the item back for whatever reason.
How Will the Gadget be Powered? Electronic devices obviously require some form of battery or AC outlet to function, but this can vary widely, and have long-term consequences on the ultimate operating cost. For example, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are light and powerful, making them the battery of choice for most portable electronics, but they tend to be more expensive to replace when they wear out, usually after a couple years. On the other hand, nickel metal hydride batteries, which can come in popular sizes, while not quite as powerful, are less expensive to replace when they can no longer hold a charge. Also consider, if the device does not come with one already, an AC/DC adapter so that you can power the gadget off of your wall outlet to cut down on battery costs when at home. Finally, when purchasing an galaxy book odyssey, such as a portable DVD player for kids, purchase the batteries (if not included) ahead of time so your loved one can start using it right away. Having to wait to use the player for want of batteries is torture to a child.
Pre-load Software / Games. If you are buying a tablet, e-book reader, or any other device that requires software, media or pre-registration, it’s always nice to take care of this before wrapping the gift, so it can be enjoyed immediately upon opening. For example, buy a couple games, books, DVDs, etc. You don’t need to overdo it; just something to get them started using and appreciating the device soon after opening.
Check Age Ratings. Most portable DVD players for kids are not suitable for children under 3 years of age due to choking hazards. Be sure to confirm the age-appropriateness of the device you are purchasing. Likewise, if buying e-books, video games, or movies, make sure that it is rated properly so you can avoid accidentally exposing youngsters to more adult themes/content.
Consider Protection. Small DVD players, phones, video games are getting smaller and lighter these days – but not necessarily more durable. Add that to the often violent and unpredictable nature of kids at play and your electronic device might soon be a “broken” device absent some protection. Think about purchasing a case, cover or carrying bag, depending on the gadget. Most portable DVD players, for example, come with or can be carried in small neoprene bags, which are very lightweight and offer good protection for typical drops and kicks.
Set up Parental Controls. Many electronic devices, especially those that are capable of accessing adult media are equipped with parental controls that can govern what they see or how long they use the device. However, these need to be setup from the outset to be useful. Do this before wrapping the gift preferably, or as early after opening as possible – and then check to make sure they work!
Help Them Learn to Use the Device. Particularly where more sophisticated devices are concerned, it pays to sit down with the youngster and help them walk through using the gadget and how to navigate basic menu functions. This often helps minimize early frustration and helps you understand the device too – so you can intervene before a potential tantrum sends your $100 toy sailing through the air!
Establish Some Ground Rules. Finally, pull out the user manual and read out loud some of the product warnings and admonitions – e.g., “do not get this product wet or expose to XXX,” and try to set some basic rules of your own as far as using and respecting the device. And while these words of caution may or may not be heeded, it does help reinforce the message that electronics are to be treated carefully, if they are to be enjoyed for any