Health

Young Children Now Spend More Than 2 Hours Per Day On Screens

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A new report has found that children age 8 and below spends more time using mobile devices compared six years ago. The report from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, reveals that the 8-and-below crowd only spends five minutes on the screen of gadgets each day back then, but kids today are spending more than 2 per day.

What The Recent Report Has Found

The report released on Oct. 19, Thursday, has found that 42 percent of children age 8 and younger already have their own gadget – compared from 7 percent in 2013 and 1 percent in 2011.

“There’s a been a seismic shift in kids’ media use to mobile,” said Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense.

In the report, 1,454 parents of kids age 8 and below were surveyed online on Jan. 20, 2017, to Feb. 10, 2017, and were asked how their kids use devices. The findings reveal that the 8-and-below crowd spends an average of 2 hours and 19 minutes on gadgets per day.

Additionally, 98 percent of children are living in a house with a sort of mobile devices and TV. Almost half of the 8-and-below crowd (49 percent) are playing video games or watching TV just before they go to sleep, while 42 percent of parents in the survey say that the TV is “always” or “most of the time” on.

Moreover, the report reveals that there is a difference in using the media by parental education and household income. Based on the results, 40% of lower-income kids spend an average of 3 hours and 29 minutes with screen media each day, while 65% of kids from higher-income homes spend 1 hour and 50 minutes on screens.

Danger Of Gadgets To Children

Kids who are using smartphones at a very young age are often inactive as they tend to focus their attention on the device’s screen. The dangers of exposing children to gadgets aren’t only a numb thumb and sore neck, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that overexposure of preschoolers to mobile devices can affect their sleep, weight, cognitive and language development, as well as emotional and social delays.

What Parents Need To Do

Media experts often suggest two things: set limits and know the child’s media engagement.

“Screens are part of their lives, let’s make it as active and positive as we possibly can,” said Sara DeWitt, vice president of PBS KIDS Digital.

DeWitt encourages parents to know what their kids are playing or watching, and make a way to interact with them, like asking them how they won the videogame or what’s the story they watched and how does it go. DeWitt also said that there are contents in the media that can help children in developing everything from mathematics and vocabulary skills to emotional and social intelligence.

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