Young children playing video gamesCommon Sense Media released a report, Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America. Here’s what they found:

Even very young children are frequent digital media users.

Of all children who have used a computer, the average age at first use was just 3-1/2 years old.

There is a digital divide, including both computers and mobile devices.

A new “app gap” has developed among young children. Among lower-income children, 27 percent have a parent with a smartphone, compared to 57 percent for higher-income children.

Children under 2 spend twice as much time watching TV and videos as they do reading books.

In a typical day, 47 percent of babies and toddlers under age 1 watch TV or DVDs, spending an average of nearly two hours per day doing so.

TV continues to dominate children’s media use.

Children under 8 spend an average of nearly two hours watching TV or videos in a typical day. They spend, on average, about 30 minutes each reading, listening to music, and playing computer or video games.

Broadcast television is the most accessible and widely used platform for educational content among lower-income children.

Educational TV is the one type of educational content that lower-income children are more likely to consume than higher-income children.

Media use varies significantly by race and socio-economic status, but not much by gender.

The only substantial difference between boys’ and girls’ media use is in video games. Boys are more likely to have ever played a console video game than girls. Boys average 16 minutes per day playing games, compared to an average of four minutes a day for girls.

Even some young children are media multi-taskers.

16 percent of children under age 8 use more than one media “most” or “some” of the time.

For more information, visit Common Sense Media.

Courtesy of ChildCare Aware Parent Network.