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Study documents media use of very young children

October 26, 2011

By Erika Weisensee, Oregon Writer

If your hunch is that younger and younger children are using digital devices, from smartphones to iPads, you are correct. A new study released by Common Sense Media found that more than half (52%) of all 0- to 8-year-olds have access to a new mobile device such as a smartphone, video iPod, or iPad/tablet. And, 23% of 5- to 8-year-olds use more than one medium “most” or “some” of the time.

“Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America,” which surveyed 1,384 parents of children ages 0 to 8 years old,  documented young children’s use of new digital media devices, as well as their use of older media platforms like television, computers, and books. Some key findings were:

  • 42% of children under 8 years old have a TV in their bedrooms.
  • In addition to the traditional digital divide, a new “app gap” has developed, with only 14% of lower-income parents having downloaded new media apps for their kids to use, compared to 47% of upper-income parents.
  • Despite new media platforms, television continues to dominate children’s media use. Children eight years old and younger spend an average of one hour and 40 minutes watching television or DVDs in a typical day, compared to 29 minutes reading or being read to, 29 minutes listening to music, 17 minutes using a computer, 14 minutes using a console or handheld video game player, and 5 minutes using a cell phone, video iPod, iPad, or similar device.

To read the full report, visit

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Discuss this article

Juniper October 27, 2011

7 years olds have better access to smartphoens than me!

Belle October 27, 2011

Lesson is — keep an eye on your kids.

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