Gadgets use by children increases by 89 percent

Research has shown that kids are using mobile devices far more than they were two years ago.

A recent report from Common Sense Media, entitled “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America” has revealed that mobile gadgets are being used by kids at a much greater rate than they had been only two years ago.

The child advocacy group’s 2013 report has shown that small screen popularity is exploding in young age groups.

This research comes just at a time in which doctors are cautioning that too much time in front of digital screens might be quite unhealthy for kids. The biannual survey of American parents that was conducted by Common Sense Media showed that there has been an increase by 89 percent in the number of children between the ages of zero and eight years who have used mobile gadgets. This is a massive increase when compared to the 2011 data, when only 38 percent of kids in that age group were using those devices considering that 72 percent have done so, this year.

Even among children younger than two years, 38 percent have used mobile gadgets for media in 2013.

Gadgets - parents and childrenIn 2011, that figure had been only 10 percent. Furthermore, the amount of time that children are spending using those gadgets has tripled. It had been 5 minutes per day in 2011, but it has risen to 15 minutes, this year.

This report came at nearly the exact same time that the American Academy of Pediatrics underscored its previous cautions regarding the exposure of children to screens, including mobile gadgets and televisions. That organization advised parents to limit the “total entertainment screen time to less than one to two hours per day” and for children younger than two years, they should “discourage screen media exposure.”

The founder of Common Sense Media, Jim Steyer, has said that these gadgets are – to a growing degree – replacing everything from televisions to storybooks and even babysitters. Tablets have especially changed the way that devices play a role within families, as there has been a five-fold increase in the number of families who own them and of children who have access to them.

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