What parents should know — and do — about young children and mobile devices

Follow me on Twitter @drClaire Did you know that 42% of US children ages 0 to 8 have their own mobile device? That’s one of the many interesting findings of the Common Sense Media Census: Media Use by Kids Zero to Eight. Researchers interviewed 1,454 parents of children 0 to 8, whose ethnicity, education, and socioeconomic status were representative of the US as a whole. Essentially all homes had a mobile device, up from half in 2011. Ninety-five percent of homes had a smartphone, 78% had a tablet, and, as I said before, 42% of children had their own mobile device. What’s interesting is that the 42% number was the same whether families were high- or low-income. Parents are buying mobile devices for their children, plain and simple. The amount of time that young children spend in front of screens hasn’t changed much since 2011. On average, it’s about two hours a day (ranging from 42 minutes a day for the under-2 crowd to about three hours for the 5-to-8-year-olds). What has changed, though, is that kids 2 to 8 are spending about an hour a day on a mobile device. In 2011, just six short years ago, kids under 8 spent about five minutes a day on mobile devices. This explosion of mobile device use in children isn’t surprising, given the explosion of mobile device use overall. It’s also not necessarily bad. Two-thirds of parents in the survey thought that mobile device use helped their children learn, and they are right that there are lots of gre...
Source: Harvard Health Blog - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Children's Health Parenting Source Type: blogs

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