News

Study: Tablets, Smartphones Are The New Electronic Babysitters

Experts Urge Parents To Monitor Childrens' Media Diets

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — There is a new electronic babysitter and it is not the TV.

Tablets and smartphones have found their way into a growing number of tiny hands, according to a new study.

Common Sense Media, a leading national media-tech organization, found that children’s use of mobile devices has skyrocketed and that growing up mobile has taken some time away from old-fashioned play time, CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

“This is the true digital generation and this is having a huge effect on families across the nation and quite frankly on childhood,” Common Sense, Founder and CEO, Jim Steyer said.

Steyer said that the use of tablets and smartphones among children has almost doubled in the past two years.

Seventy-two-percent of kids under the age of eight have used mobile devices, so have thirty-eight-percent of children under age two.

That information is no surprise to the sales staff at P.C. Richard in Levittown where tablets have been flying off of the shelves.

“Keeping the kids busy in the car during travel, road trips,” Steve King said.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics cautioned that too much media too soon can lead to attention issues, sleep problems and obesity. Developing brains learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Some mothers told CBS 2 that they have found smartphone games to be a great way to teach and distract.

“Sometimes it makes life easier. Giver her the phone and she’ll play on it,” Nicole Vessalaco said.

“As moms we have to do what we have to do to keep ourselves sane a little bit. So, everything in moderation is the way to go for me,” Kristin Houser added.

Common Sense Media recommends that parents monitor their children’s media diets and set limits. Pediatricians said that for children under the age of two, it’s smart to put the phones and screens away.

The study also found that while tablet use is up, TV watching time is down.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories