Study Shows Kids Have More Screen Time Than Ever Before

A new report shows children under 8 are exposed to more screen time than ever before. Another trend that became apparent from the same study is what researchers are calling the “app gap,” which refers to the gap between what technology is available to affluent and low-income children. Affluent kids are more likely to spend their screen time playing interactive games and low-income kids are more likely to spend their screen time in front of the television, according to the article “Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children.”

Some other eye-opening statistics about childhood media exposure the study revealed are:

  • Half of kids under 8 had a mobile device like a smartphone, iPod, or an iPad.
  • Half of children under 2 watch TV or DVDs on an everyday basis, spending an average of two hours in front of a screen a day.
  • The average amount all kids under 2 watch television or DVDs is 53 minutes, which is twice the amount of time the children in the study were read to.
  • Almost a third of children under 2 have TVs in their bedrooms.
  • In families making less than $30,000 a year, 64 percent of children under 8 had televisions in their rooms, whereas televisions were only in 20 percent children’s rooms from families who made over $75,000 a year.

Last week I wrote on the New York Times article “No TV for Children Under 2, Doctors’ Group Urges” that showed a new study suggests television and videos can harm babies younger than 2, even programs that are labeled as educational. In the more recent article, the report author said “only 14 percent of the parents surveyed said their doctor had ever discussed media use with them.”

Has it been hard as a parent to limit your screen time in order to postpone your child’s introduction to technology? Are you concerned about your child getting too much screen time, or do you encourage it? Share your opinion in the comment box below.



“Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children,” by Tamar Levin. 25 October 2011. The New York Times. 26 October 2011. <>

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