Skip to main content

Study finds that nearly 100 percent of preschoolers are using mobile devices

preschool toddler mobile device use using smartphone tablet
KGO-TV
It used to be that we would put our kids in front of the TV when we needed to get things done, but with the plethora of smartphones and tablets, it’s no surprise that most toddlers and preschoolers have shown a growing interest for those devices as well.

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics online edition shows that nearly 50 percent of  kids under the age of one are using a mobile device for 20 minutes per day, and nearly 80 percent by the time they reach two years old.

As to when parents allow their children to use mobile devices, 70 percent say they do so when a child does their chores, 65 percent to keep their child calm in public places, 58 percent to run errands, and 28 percent to put their child to sleep.

Prime Day Focus
Roborock Prime Day shopping guide: Lots of options, which is right for you?
Is the Bluetti AC200L the best power station for camper vans?
These Razer Blade Prime Day deals really pack a punch [in gaming power]
Tiny projector, epic 4K cinema: Watch movies anywhere with LG CineBeam Q

The study was conducted at one urban pediatric clinic in Philadelphia from October through November 2014. It involved 350 children from six months to four years old. 97 percent of the children in the study used a mobile device, with the tablet being the most popular.

The researchers do note that this narrow study doesn’t necessarily represent the whole country, but it does reveal some interesting trends.

Since this survey was done in a low-income clinic, it shows that the digital divide is shrinking. Compared to 2013 nationwide surveys, the low-income community showed a significant increase in the use of mobile devices. A major reason for this could be decreased costs as tablets and smartphones have dramatically dropped in price over the past two years.

The plus side to this is that these mobile devices could make kids more prepared for school, but on the other hand, it was found that most parents in low-income areas need help in selecting media content. While there are a ton of educational apps available, many of these kids end up watching videos from YouTube and Netflix.

The Journal concluded that this study does not address how the child and family are impacted by the use of these mobile devices, and future studies are needed to assist health care providers and families on the best way for children to use them.

Robert Nazarian
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Robert Nazarian became a technology enthusiast when his parents bought him a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color. Now his biggest…
Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra vs. Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: There’s a clear winner
Renders of the Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra and Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Samsung’s Galaxy Watch Ultra is the company’s answer to the Apple Watch Ultra. It’s the new rugged smartwatch offering from Samsung, designed for those who want a little bit more from their everyday smartwatch.

But this is not the first time that Samsung has released a rugged watch. Before the Galaxy Watch Ultra, there was the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, which launched in 2022. While it was a good smartwatch, it was never really seen as a true competitor to the Apple Watch Ultra.

Read more
The biggest Galaxy Z Flip 6 upgrade is hiding in plain sight
The Galaxy Z Flip 6 with its cover screen on.

"For the first time ever, a vapor chamber on Galaxy Z Flip.”

That’s the only mention of a vapor chamber cooling system inside the new Galaxy Z Flip 6 from Samsung in its press release. The on-stage presentation at the glitzy Unpacked event in Paris wasn’t too different either. One might mistake this approach from Samsung as a relatively tame upgrade. In reality, it’s anything but.

Read more
Nothing will launch ‘an extraordinary new smartphone’ on July 31
Rear transparent shell of Nothing Phone 2a.

Nothing has announced that it will reveal its next smartphone, the Nothing Phone 2a Plus, at 5 a.m. ET on Wednesday, July 31. The handset is being described as "extraordinary" by its creators. The phone's tagline is "Plus. More. Extra." What does this mean? We've got a few ideas.

The Nothing Phone 2 launched in July 2023, followed by the Nothing Phone 2a in March of this year. Naming the new phone the "Nothing Phone 2a Plus" instead of "Nothing Phone 2 Plus" indicates that it will be based on the less expensive Nothing Phone 2a model. With this in mind, the phone's tagline probably gives a lot away.

Read more