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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Lots of Young Kids Are Tablet Owners

In 2011, only 1% of children younger than nine possessed a tablet device. Today, 42% of kids that age have a tablet of their own, according to research by Common Sense.

The amount of time youngsters spend on mobile devices has made a similar leap, noted a report on the research in eSchool News. They now average 48 minutes a day on mobile gadgets, compared to five minutes in 2011. Some 95% of their families also own at least one smartphone.

Another surprise in the research: Tablet ownership by young children is about the same regardless of household income. About 40% of kids from low-income families own a tablet, the same percentage as high-income families, with about 45% of children from middle-income households having one.

About 78% of all families with a child aged 0-8 have one or more tablets, a big jump from 8% in 2011. That figure includes devices owned by the kids as well as those owned by other household members or considered shared property.

It’s hard to tell what sort of impact this early tablet exposure will have on their education as they get older. However, Common Sense CEO and founder James P. Steyer cautioned, “If we want to ensure our kids develop well and are successful in life, we have to make sure they get the most out of tech while protecting them from potential risks—and that means paying close attention to the role media is playing in their lives.”

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