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The study found that 52 percent of children ages 5 to 8 years old have had access to a mobile device while 39 percent of 2 to 4-year-olds and 10 percent of zero to 1-year-olds have had access

For years, media such as television and video game systems have been used as babysitters for younger children. But as technology advances and more gadgets are introduced, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are being used for the same purposes.

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that focuses on the use of technology by children, prepared a study called "Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America." As the study suggests, it describes the amount of media children ages zero to eight consume via mobile devices and television.

The study looked at 1,384 parents with children up to 8 years old from May 27, 2011 to June 15, 2011.

Let’s start with television. According to the study, nine-month-olds spend almost an hour per day watching television or DVDs. Children under the age of two spend twice as much time watching TV and videos as they do reading books at 53 minutes and 23 minutes per day respectively. In addition, 30 percent of zero to 1-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom while 44 percent of 2 to 4-year-olds and 47 percent of 5 to 8-year-olds have a TV in their bedrooms as well.

As far as computers go, 53 percent of all 2 to 4-year-olds have used a computer and 90 percent of all 5 to 8-year-olds have used a computer. The average age of first use was around 3 and a half.

The newest group of gadgets to be introduced to youngsters is mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. According to the study, 29 percent of parents have downloaded apps specifically for their children on their phones. On average, 11 percent of the children used a cell phone or other mobile device for media consumption for about 43 minutes per day.

When it comes to both computers and mobile devices, the study notes that there is a "digital divide" among those in different income brackets. In the computer realm, 72 percent of children up to age 8 have a computer in their home. Among low-income families (less than $30,000 per year), this number is at about 48 percent where higher-income families (over $75,000 per year) are at 91 percent.

In addition to the digital divide is the "app gap," where 27 percent of lower-income families include a parent with a smartphone where 57 percent of higher-income families include a parent with a smartphone. Thirty-eight percent of lower-income parents don't even know what an app is where only 3 percent of higher-income parents are unaware.

Overall, the study found that 52 percent of children ages 5 to 8 years old have had access to a mobile device while 39 percent of 2 to 4-year-olds and 10 percent of zero to 1-year-olds have had access.

The study can be found here.

Source: MSNBC

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RE: Wait what?
By gmyx on 10/28/2011 2:20:46 PM , Rating: 2
On long drives we do purchase new games for the kids Nintendo DS (Depending on grades is whether they get 1-2 games for the ride) and the games allow them to play together over wireless. I have two movie tablets which I try to load up with their favorite TV programs and few movies to keep them entertained.

Seems like really long drives but we never bring these along. You don't really need these instant gratification devices all the time.

But I understand your attachment to how as kids you stared out the window waiting for the next Pedro Says and dreamed dad stopping at Stuckeys for fireworks. Its just a different generation.
Because we let it be that way instead of making them see all there is including technology.

I will say we try to force our kids outside. A bit before gaming took over there was whiffle ball, frisbee, and tag football if you were hurt playing tackle. Im dreading the days of your not going out wearing that to my daughters. For now I can only instill fear about them growing up.

That is simple - turn off the damn devices!

The problem with these devices is we are allowing our kids to sit around all day. What I've read in the article it seems some "parents" start this habit from day 1. My 6 year old is only allowed a total of 60 minutes of TV a day. After that the TV is off. In summer he usually goes outside because there is more to do out there. He loves my smartphone (Angry Brids and Driving Games) but he knows it's always a short term device. He will spent much more time with Legos than anything else. This is because we habituated him to that. He didn't see a TV program until he was 2 - and didn't care for them until he was 4.

RE: Wait what?
By Mitch101 on 10/28/2011 2:45:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see it as a problem. Stare mindlessly into space or try to spark their brains solving problems.

Most of the games they play are collaborative. Im in the process of setting up a Minecraft server for the kids in our community that do this. Its interesting the imagination they have in a virtual space. I wouldnt say its mindless its creation and imagination. Possibly some building block to engineering.

I like that they have determination to finish things through to the end or work together with their friends to accomplish a task. Neither of my kids are overweight my wife tells me our one daughter practically has abs and the other is a whiz on

I dont believe in hard regime of 60 minutes of television its not the military. Even kids need to unwind and accomplish nothing.

RE: Wait what?
By cjohnson2136 on 10/28/2011 2:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
For me it depends on the technology and the time of day. If it is something that stimulates their mind then they can do it on rainy days, night, or when friends are sick. But television is different I see that as an night time activity for a limited amount of time. Not 60 min on the dot but also not all night

The Minecraft idea is really cool that you are doing that

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