A recent study in Pediatrics highlighted the seemingly universal acceptance of mobile device use by children. USA Today’s coverage of the study spoke about some of the statistics from the study. One shocking stat: “Nearly 97% of parents said their children used mobile devices of some sort. Most started before their first birthday.” What are parents and educators to do?
“Parents don’t need a guilt trip — parents need guidance and support and better-quality stuff that is more intentionally educational, more culturally resonant and relevant, and which they can discover easily with their children.” – Michael Levine, co-author of the recent book Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) even modified its recommendations for parents, saying that face-to-face interactions with adults are preferred, “devices such as smartphones and tablets could be educational, even for toddlers, if a caregiver reads or plays along to guide the learning.”
Among other findings, according to their parents:
• 20% of 1-year-olds own a tablet computer.
• 28% of 2-year-olds can navigate a mobile device with no help.
• 21% of 4-year-olds own a gaming console.
• 28% of parents said they use a mobile device to put their children to sleep.