Study: The amount of time kids spend on mobile screens has tripled in 4 years

Do you know how much time your child is spending on mobile devices? It's up to about two hours a day, according to a new report.

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Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization that helps kids, parents and educators thrive in a world of technology, recently conducted a study to determine media use by children aged 0 to 8.

To do so, they gave nearly 1,500 parents, with children aged 8 years old and younger, a survey that focused on their children’s media use. The new questionnaire was a continuation of two that were completed in 2011 and 2013.

After they analyzed the results, they found that children 8 and younger spend an average of two hours and 19 minutes a day fiddling with screen media -  an amount that has tripled in four years.

But analysts said the overall amount of media kids consume has relatively remained the same over the last few years. It’s the way they are using it that’s “shifted considerably.”

Online video games and subscription services played a huge factor in the study.

According to the research, children spend about 17 minutes a day watching online videos from platforms such as YouTube. About 17 percent of all TV/video viewing time for families with young children are now more likely to have a subscription video service such as Netflix or Hulu than cable.

They estimated that about 72 percent of households with young children have subscription services and 65 percent have cable.

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Analysts said 98 percent of kids 8 and younger live with mobile devices and a TV in the home. In fact, about 49 percent watch television or play videogames within one hour of bedtime, and 42 percent of parents recorded that the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” at home.

They noted that 42% of children 8 and younger now have their own tablet devices, up from 7 percent in 2013.

Researchers also discoverd gaps when it came to household income.

Kids from homes that rake in $30,000 a year have screen time for 3 hours and 29 minutes a day, but those from households that make more than $75,000 spend just an hour and 50 minutes on screens, the report said.

Now researchers are considering emerging technology and how that will continue to affect the youth.

“As we consider the implications of these trends, we hope it will be valuable to have nationally representative data,” the authors wrote. “The next iteration of this survey will give us a sense of whether any or all of these new technologies will have the impact mobile media and touchscreens have had in terms of how kids spend their time.”

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full report here.

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