Study: Over 50% of Children Under 8 Use Mobile Devices for Media Consumption
October 28, 2011 11:43 AM
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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
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Just need to set limits
10/30/2011 12:41:33 AM
We are the parents of a 9 yr old. In infancy/toddler years we used the TV/videos to occupy our daughter morning, afternoon and evening while we did everything we had to do. We both worked. WE spent a lot of time with her, but there's also lots of time that adults have to be tending to adult stuff and videos are great attention occupiers. She got addicted to the TV, as evidenced by her being glued to it for years afterward. BTW, a lot of this time was spent with the Baby Einstein videos, which are kinda interesting and soothing, but which studies do not show do anything to improve learning. Now we're finding that in the fourth grade a lot of this TV time is being cut out due to necessity. School demands have taken over, and, interestingly, as she has become more interested in school classes and activities she doesn't complain about severe limits on TV time, e.g. none in the morning and a half hour after school during snack time, then homework, extracurricular classes, and maybe an hour in the evening. I think as a child ages parents just have to adjust TV/video time to the demands of reality. Whereas we once used the TV a lot, we/she doesn't need it so much now and everyone is fine. Parental limits are still very necessary, because if it were left up to her I think she'd leave the TV on 24/7. But TV limits work when the child has something else to do.
"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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