A new study from Common Sense Media reveals that the percentage of U.S. children who’ve used a mobile device has exploded over the past few years, jumping to 89 percent of all children in 2013 up from just 38 percent in 2011. The survey polled American parents with a child ranging in age from newborn to eight-years-old, covering smartphones, tablets and any other portable device with a screen.
The results makes sense, since the number of mobile devices per family on average in the U.S. is still rapidly increasing. Even as the smartphone market becomes saturated, the percentage of Americans who own tablets—which are more commonly shared between multiple people—is at 35 percent according to a recent survey, up ten percent since last year. At the same time, doctors are warning that continued exposure to screens is bad for child development, though we can’t say that’s a huge surprise.
Children under the age of two really shouldn’t be interacting with these devices at all, doctors say, but Common Sense Media found that 38 percent of children in that age group have used a smartphone or tablet, up from 10 percent in 2011. The survey also breaks down how kids are using these devices, with games beating out videos by 63 to 47 percent.