Kids using mobile devices rose 38% to 72% from 2011-13

Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:40 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The proportion of U.S. children with access to some sort of smart mobile device at home has jumped from half to three-quarters, a survey indicates.

The survey, by Common Sense Media, which empowers parents, educators and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens, found the average amount of time children spent using mobile devices tripled, from 5 minutes a day in 2011 to 15 minutes a day in 2013.

The nationally representative survey of 1,463 U.S. parents of children age 8 and younger found the number of kids who've used mobile devices nearly doubled from 38 percent to 72 percent, while 38 percent of toddlers and infants age 2 and younger used a mobile device 2013, compared to 10 percent in 2011.

Access to mobile media among poor and minority children is much higher than it was two years ago, but a digital divide persists. Twenty percent of lower-income kids have a tablet compared to 63 percent of higher-income ones; and 35 percent of lower-income parents have downloaded educational apps for their kids, compared to 75 percent of higher-income ones.

However, television still reigns supreme in children's media lives, though new ways of watching now make up a large portion of viewing. Nearly 6-out-of-10 children watch TV at least once a day, compared to 17 percent who use mobile devices on an everyday basis, 14 percent who are daily computer users and 6 percent who play video games every day.

In a typical day, children age 2 and younger spent more than twice as much time watching television and DVDs -- 55 minutes -- as they do reading or being read to -- at 19 minutes.

The survey was conducted by GfK from May 20 to June 12. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

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