Tykes triple time on mo­bile, sur­vey says

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

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.”

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