Debt counsellors slam 'Baby's First Credit Card'

Debt counsellors have criticised a new baby teether that is shaped and marked like a credit card.

The plastic toy is stamped with mock credit card numbers, an expiry date and the name "Ima Spender", the Daily Telegraph reported.

While the product is unlikely to prompt many newborns to compare credit cards just yet, social commentator Maggie Hamilton said the teether was "the ultimate symbol of materialism".

She argued that children are being forced to grow into "mini-adults" much too quickly, with clever advertisers seeking to infiltrate their minds from six months of age.

The newspaper also quoted financial counsellor Garry Rothman, who suggested the toy trivialises the money problems being experienced by scores of families.

Penny Hartelt, who is selling the Baby’s First Credit Card Teether via her online gift shop, defended the product as "just a bit of fun".

The news comes after Sydney Morning Herald finance columnist John Kavanagh noted this week that many credit card issuers have been moving their interest rates up in "significantly steep steps" this year, with balances also growing accordingly.

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