Parents aren’t cutting back on “screen time” for their youngsters, despite warnings from educators, the American Academy of Pediatrics and child psychologists that too much time in front of a screen impedes kids’ physical activity, problem-solving ability, and emotional growth.
In fact, a new study of students eight years and younger by Common Sense Media shows parents are fueling the fire.
Among Common Sense’s findings of 8-and-younger kids:
- More than half (52%) regularly use a smartphone (41%), video iPod (21%) or an iPad or other tablet (8%)
- 11% use a cell phone, iPod or tablet every day
- 22% use a computer every day
- 17% play a video game every day while 81% have played video games.
The most surprising finding? Almost a third of 8-and-younger kids have two TVs in their bedrooms.
Type of screen time varies by family income
Family dynamics play a key role in what kind of digital media young students consume.
Among households with income of $75,00 or higher (with two parents in the home more common), only 20% allowed TVs in their young kids’ rooms. In houses with income of $30K or less, 64% of kids have TVs in their room.
Yet while higher-income parents are more restrictive with TV, they’re less so with downloaded apps. Nearly half of families with income above $75K have downloaded an app for their kids, compared with just 1-in-8 of $30K-and-under households.
What do you think these findings mean for tomorrow’s educators?