As a parent, you may think you are keeping your child safe by giving them smartwatches, but it could be counterproductive.

Activists and consumer groups said such smartwatches designed to help parents keep tabs on children could create privacy and security risks, even as they called for probes by regulators on Wednesday.

A coalition of child protection, consumer, and privacy groups asked the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate the risks posed to children by the devices and called on retailers to stop selling the watches.

The groups said consumer organisations in Europe are expected to file similar complaints with EU regulators.

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The organisations contend that the devices, instead of keeping children safe, could make them vulnerable to hackers or criminals.

"By preying upon parents' desire to keep children safe... these smartwatches are actually putting kids in danger," said Josh Golin of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood in a statement.

"Once again, we see Internet of Things products for kids being rushed to market with no regard for how they will protect children’s sensitive information. Parents should avoid these watches and all internet-connected devices designed for kids," the statement added.

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