Is Your Baby Computer-Savvy? 80 Percent Are!

Nearly 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 who use the Internet in the United States, do so on at least a weekly basis, according to a report released Monday from education non-profit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop.

The report, which was assembled using data from seven recent studies, indicates that young children are increasingly consuming all types of digital media, in many cases consuming more than one type at once.

Television Still Rules Amongst Preschoolers

Television use dwarfs internet use in both the number of children who surf the web and the amount of time they spend on it. The analysis found that during the week, most children spend at least three hours a day watching television, and that television use among preschoolers is the highest it has been in the past eight years. Of the time that children spend on all types of media, television accounts for a whopping 47%.

Infants Watch At Least Two Hours A Day

Most kids plug into the world of television long before they enter school. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF):
    •    two-thirds of infants and toddlers watch a screen an average of 2 hours a day
    •    kids under age 6 watch an average of about 2 hours of screen media a day, primarily TV and videos or DVDs

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that kids under 2 years old not watch any TV and that those older than 2 watch no more than 1 to 2 hours a day of quality programming.

8 – 18-Year-Olds Pack In 10 Hours And 45 Minutes Of Screen Time Daily

And, even more scary: 8-18 year-olds today devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes (7:38) to using entertainment media across a typical day (more than 53 hours a week).  And because they spend so much of that time ‘media multitasking’ (using more than one medium at a time), they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes (10:45) worth of media content into those 7½ hours.

Heavy television viewing may even be partially responsible for the rising number of children who use the Internet. Parents in one study indicated that more than 60% of children under age three watch video online. That percentage decreases as children get older (the report suggests this is because school-age children have less time at home), but even 8- to 18-year-old children reported in another study that they consume about 20% of their video content online, on cellphones, or on other portable devices like iPods.

Is All This Screen Time Good For Kids?

The report doesn’t attempt to solve the more-than-decade-old debate of whether all of this screen time is good for children. Instead, it preaches balance: “My mother used to say that too much of anything isn’t good for you, whether it be eating only protein, shooting hoops all day or ‘always being connected’ to the digital world,” said Dr. Lewis Bernstein, executive president at Sesame Workshop, in a press release.

A Couple Of Big Questions:

Is all that time in front of screens good for children?

And are parents or caregivers around both to monitor the use of technology and to teach kids how to be media-savvy?

What do you think?



Mikaila H.
Mikaila H6 years ago

That'sjust plain old scary! What are parents thinking by allowing their babies have time on the internet?

Sumit jamadar
Sumit jamadar6 years ago


colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

what can a 0 year old do on the internet? watch barny on youtube? have civil discussions on a forum?
get told off for not having proper spelling?(i doubt babies have good written communication skills before they can talk)

or maybe they shop or sign petitions to save their fellow babies from being hurled in a dumpster because their 3rd world 12 year old mommy cannot care for them and cheated on her husband?

or maybe they play farmville? world of warcraft?

get groomed by pedophiles in chatrooms made for pop music chatting?

Justina G.
Justina Gil6 years ago

Im thinking the radiation might be bad.

Lika S.
Lika P6 years ago

Babies? Come on, what happened to parents actually spending time with their kids talking, reading, etc?

I say wait until they can at least talk, and be old enough for preschool. My 11 year old started at kindergarten, and because he can teach my mom how to do things on the computer, she thinks he's on the computer too much. In fact, though, she really doesn't know much beyond email, and she has difficulty with that, even.

Julie W.
Julie W6 years ago

Good grief! No wonder Americans are so obese - all that sitting.

I send my 7 year old grandchild funny animal videos - I think this is the only time she uses the computer. Even then, Mum or Dad set it up for her.

Chavonne Harvey
Chavonne H6 years ago

doesn't sound like a good idea, maybe they can be in offline mode and play games in the accessories category.

Marian B.
Marian B.6 years ago

children should be playing together not on computors,making there own games up.

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


ruth a.
ruth a6 years ago