Eighty percent of US children under five years old using the internet: new study
Wednesday 16 March 2011
The results of a study by nonprofit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop, released March 14, found that 80 percent of under fives in the US use the internet on a regular basis.
The study was based on seven other previous studies conducted before 2010 and does not include internet usage through mediums such as tablet computers or smartphones.
The report found that 80 percent of children aged between 0-5 in the United States used the internet on at least a weekly basis.
Surprisingly, the amount of children aged 6-9 years old using the internet on a weekly basis dropped to around 70 percent.
The study included all types of internet usage, including watching films or TV online, which is likely to account for a large percentage of online activity, especially among the younger age groups.
However, despite the popularity of the internet, television is still the favorite medium for children, with around 90 percent of children over five watching at least three hours of programming per day.
Though the report does not address any potential negative effects of this behavior, concerns over internet safety have led companies such as software giant Microsoft to publish guides on children's internet usage.
Microsoft suggests that children be supervised online until the age of ten. Though websites and safety settings can be customized, it is always best to sit with your child. If the child is required to submit their name to gain access to a site, create a anonymous nickname.
Full guidelines from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/security/family-safety/childsafety-age.aspx
The full report from Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop (pdf): http://joanganzcooneycenter.org/upload_kits/alwaysconnected_final.pdf
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