How Much Time Does YOUR Child Spend in Front of a Screen? Show Notes

Friday, March 09, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Today’s kids are growing up with an unprecedented amount of screen time—as in television screens, computer screens and smartphone screens.

According to a new study by Common Sense Media, 52% of young children in American have access to mobile digital devices at home, including smartphones, video iPods, and iPads.

About 1 out of 3 of parents have downloaded apps specifically for their children to use. And when it comes to computers, the average first age of usage is now three-and-a-half.

The survey found that 53% of 2- to 4-year olds have already used a computer, while 90% have done so by age 5.

For all the focus on mobile devices and computers, however, the television is still the screen that gets watched most.

30% of 1- to 8-year-olds have a television in their bedroom, and in a typical day, the average child in the survey watched almost 2 hours of TV.

How does that compare to reading or being read to? The average is 29 minutes per day.

Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer says "Parents increasingly are handing their iPhones to their 1 ½-year-old kid as a shut-up toy."

"And parents who check their email three times on the way to the bus stop are constantly modeling that behavior, so it's only natural that kids want to use mobile devices too."

If you’re a parent, I’d encourage you to stop and ask yourself how much time YOUR kids are spending in front of a screen.

I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.

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