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Silly Bandz- Parents beware and what to do!?

Updated on October 12, 2010

Yesterday I started to research the newest craze amongst kids and teenager called silly bandz. One place I visited was pretty obviously the Silly Bandz home page at sillybandz.com A no-brainer, when researching something it is always best to start at the source! I planned to write a bog-standard hub about what Silly Bandz are (colorful rubber bands that come in different shapes and forms, are worn by many kids as a wristband and that retain their form even after having stretched a lot as soon as the tension eases. Kind of memory foam type silicone band in cute animal and princess forms. The even have an unicorn on offer).

Slideshow, click arrows to see the story unfold and sorry about the necessary scrolling up and down, I wanted to include the 'whole picture'.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Homepage, many links in the footer area, but none about poker.The footer area of the photo week page where children submit their own images to, showing off their Silly Bandz. Poker links in footer area. Click to enlarge.Same links on the Testimonial page, where kids and parents letters to Silly Bandz are displayed. One testimonial rads 'My mom and I have recommended this site to all of our friends.'Letters from children with poker links in the at the bottom.And the same on the contact page.Here the site linked to. The top half looks pretty innocent.The page as a whole less so. Click to enlarge.And here some discussions on their gambling forum. Nuff said!
The Homepage, many links in the footer area, but none about poker.
The Homepage, many links in the footer area, but none about poker.
The footer area of the photo week page where children submit their own images to, showing off their Silly Bandz. Poker links in footer area. Click to enlarge.
The footer area of the photo week page where children submit their own images to, showing off their Silly Bandz. Poker links in footer area. Click to enlarge.
Same links on the Testimonial page, where kids and parents letters to Silly Bandz are displayed. One testimonial rads 'My mom and I have recommended this site to all of our friends.'
Same links on the Testimonial page, where kids and parents letters to Silly Bandz are displayed. One testimonial rads 'My mom and I have recommended this site to all of our friends.'
Letters from children with poker links in the at the bottom.
Letters from children with poker links in the at the bottom.
And the same on the contact page.
And the same on the contact page.
Here the site linked to. The top half looks pretty innocent.
Here the site linked to. The top half looks pretty innocent.
The page as a whole less so. Click to enlarge.
The page as a whole less so. Click to enlarge.
And here some discussions on their gambling forum. Nuff said!
And here some discussions on their gambling forum. Nuff said!

Why are these online poker links a problem?

No, I don't want to police the internet. No I don't want to get all gambling sites banned. And yes, I do believe in freedom of speech and expression. I could perfectly cope with the fact that BrainChildsProductions owns both types of sites (children toys and poker sites), just not that they interlink them. The reason? They brand sillybandz.com as an interactive site, where children can leave letters, photos of themselves and browse the newest products. And I guess a lot of parents just let them do this completely unsupervised, because it is 'just an innocent children's toys website'. Kids are curious, and I personally guess that quite an amount of them clicks through to the poker sites displayed in the footer area of sillybandz.com I don't know about you, but if I would have underage children, I didn't want them to browse online gambling sites – period!

What should you do as a parent?

First of all, if you have children that are Silly bandz fans, have a chat with them if they ever visited the sillybandz.com website and what they did there. Ask them if there was something funny or something they didn't understand on the website. Take it from there, remember, it is not the fault of your children if they ended up on the poker site, it is the responsibility of the person that designed the website.

Depending on the age and sense of responsibility of your children, you might want to either block sillybandz.com from being accessed from your home computer or, as a minimum, block the poker sites themselves from being accessed! There are great parental control programs available (example in the top right of this text block), that help you to monitor which sites your child can visit on the internet and that help you to block the ones you don't want to allow your child to visit.

Do I have anything against Silly Bandz?

No, not at all, actually I couldn't care less about them. But I do find it disturbing, that a producer of children's toys has links to online poker sites on a website that is dedicated to said children's toys and is visited daily by many thousand children!

What is your opinion? Is it ok to interlink sites like this, or are you now concerned? Please leave a comment and / or take the poll to share your opinion.

Do you bother about links on websites made for children?

What do you think about this, should this kind of links be displayed on a website geared towards children?

See results

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    • profile image

      Jon 

      7 years ago

      Well I got here through Google, so my demographic is a bit of a contrast to other commenters - teenage online poker player. Even I can agree putting gambling links on a children's site is outright silly.

    • Jessica Jain profile image

      Jessica Jain 

      7 years ago

      Great Hub.

    • wmspringer profile image

      wmspringer 

      8 years ago

      -blink-

      I think it's moronic that the government tries to ban online poker...but putting links to gambling sites on a website for children? What in the world were they thinking?

    • Successful Living profile image

      Sherry Vacik 

      8 years ago from Prague, Czech Republic

      This is a great hub to raise parents' awareness about something that could harm their kids. Adult supervision is a necessity as the Internet is a wild place with many things that kids just don't need to see or participate in.

    • cmuckley profile image

      cmuckley 

      8 years ago

      I had no idea. Great hub!

    • Chaotic Chica profile image

      Chaotic Chica 

      8 years ago

      And this is why my children think of me as the wicked witch of the west. I am absolutely strict regarding my children's use of technology. It scares me and I am an adult! Just because something is out there and it is popular, it does not mean that everybody needs to partake in it. I did just fine without the coolest clothes and toys of the decade and my children will, too. Yes, I was low on the social ladder and resented my mother as a child and a teenager but after I got out into the real world, I understood what she was doing for me and am grateful. It is a lesson I plan to continue. My step son is a teenager whose grandmother gives him what ever he wants, all he has to do is ask, he doesn't even have to earn. My kids see that and are upset, rightfully so, but my mother is nearby and she supports me in my endevors. He has gotten in trouble as the result of technology and it is not something my kids need to follow and I let them know as much. Thank you for posting this hub about their site. Even IF I had thought about letting them view it, I certainly would have changed my mind after this!

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