Tykes triple time on mobile, survey says
Special for USA TODAY
Small children, like the rest of us, have gone mobile — tripling their time on devices such as tablets and phones in the past four years, according to a new survey.
Kids ages 0-8 still spend an average of about two hours a day on various screens, as they did in 2011 and 2013, says the survey of 1,454 U.S. parents, released Thursday by the nonprofit group Common Sense. And TV is still tops, consuming an hour of that time.
But the survey, repeated for the third time in six years, shows a shifting landscape — one in which 42 percent of young children have their own tablets and 98 percent live in homes with at least one mobile device. Children spend an average of 48 minutes a day on those devices, up from five minutes in 2011 and 15 minutes in 2013, the survey says.
“There has been a seismic shift in media and tech use by young kids in this country,” Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer said. “Kids who are still learning to walk and talk now have access on a daily basis to these powerful handheld devices. … It has the power to reshape child development.”