Screen time skyrocketing in young children

Many young kids will wish for smartphones or tablets this holiday season, and new research shows small children are spending more time glued to the screen.

Children 0 to 8 years old now spend 48 minutes per day on a mobile device, according to an  study by Common Sense Media.  The kids' screen time is up from only 15 minutes a day in 2013 and 5 minutes a day in 2011.

The study found that 42 percent of children now have their own tablet device, up from 7 percent from four years ago.

A 2016 study showed that children now get their first mobile phone at the age of 10.

And now, virtual reality headsets and voice-activated assistant devices are starting to make inroads. These  technologies can be found in roughly one in 10 homes with young children, according to the study.

Smartphones have been linked to depression and attention-deficit disorder in children and teenagers.

"They should just play," said child and adolescent family therapist Darby Fox, who said kids do not learn how to entertain themselves if they are connected to a device all the time.

Babies and young children are accessing and viewing media in new ways now that the majority of American families have mobile and internet-connected devices at home. Smartphones, tablets, and other devices also present new challenges and opportunities for parents introducing media to their kids for the first time.

Psychologists say that increased screen time is linked to increased risk of depression.

Experts also warn that having a tablet or a smartphone means that children have pornography at their fingertips.

The number of teens who experienced at least one major depressive incident shot by 60 percent between 2010 and 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services found.

The study did find, TV screen time has decreased as mobile viewing has increased.

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories