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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : May 06, 2015

Research reveals toddlers are mastering mobile

Today's toddlers are not content with plastic toy phones. Recent research has found that even before they are one year old a third of babies are interacting with the real thing.

by Helen Leggatt

Researchers at the pediatric unit of the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia have released findings showing that 36% of babies under the age of one are able to touch and scroll screens on mobile devices. Within the same age range more than half (52%) were watching television programs on a mobile device.

'First Exposure and Use of Mobile Media in Young Children' found that many young children today are able to use a mobile device before they have mastered potty training. By the age of one, 14% of children were spending at least one hour each day using mobile media, found the report, rising to 26% by age 2 and 38% by age 4.

"Children are exposed to mobile media devices very early in life, and most children are using them by age two years," say researchers. "A better understanding of the use of mobile media in young children and how it varies by population groups is critical to help develop educational strategies for both parents and health providers."

Sixty percent of parents said they let their child play with mobile media while they run errands while 73% let them do so while they do chores around the home. Sixty-five percent use mobile to calm their child or put them to sleep (29%).

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages any screen time, including TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets, by children under age 2.

"Although mobile devices are ubiquitous in young children's lives, we don't yet know the impact mobile devices can have on young children," said Dr. Hilda Kabali, a pediatric resident at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and the author of the study. "What is realistic is for parents to guide their children's media experience."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: children, mobile, research

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