Exposure to and use of mobile devices in children aged 1-60 months.

Kilic A. O. , Sari E., Yucel H., Oguz M. M. , Polat E., Acoglu E. A. , ...More

European journal of pediatrics, vol.178, no.2, pp.221-227, 2019 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 178 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00431-018-3284-x
  • Title of Journal : European journal of pediatrics
  • Page Numbers: pp.221-227


The present study was conducted to determine young children's (aged 1-60months) exposure to and use of mobile devices. The study included 422 parents of children aged 1-60months admitted to pediatric outpatient clinics. A questionnaire was administered to the parents via face-to-face interview. Children's overall exposure to mobile devices was 75.6% (n=319). Of the children, 24.4% (n=103) had never used a mobile device. Among the children that had used a mobile device, 20.6% (n=66) were aged between 1 and 12months; 24.5% (n=78) were aged between 13 and 24months. The median age at the first time use of a mobile device was 12months. The youngest child that used a mobile device was 6months old. Tablets had a significant difference in the age at first use compared with other mobile media types (P<0.01). Children's overall mobile device ownership was 30.7% (98/319) in frequency. There was a positive relationship between mobile device ownership and age (p<0.001). The most commonly owned mobile device was a tablet at a frequency of 68.4% (67/98). The frequency of tablet ownership was inversely associated with household income (P<0.01). Of the children that used mobile devices, 25.7% (82/319) used multiple mobile devices simultaneously. Among 422 children, 15.9% (n=67) had a tablet in their room. The frequency of tablet use and ownership was inversely related to the mother's educational level (P<0.01). The parents reported that 22.3% (n=71) never received help while navigating the mobile device. The most frequent activity with mobile devices was watching videos (70.8%, n=226). Of the parents, 59.6% (190/319) let their children use mobile devices while they are doing daily tasks or domestic chores. Of the parents, 91.5% (n=386) reported not having been informed by a doctor about the effects of mobile devices on their children.Conclusion: This study demonstrates a high prevalence of exposure to mobile devices in young children. The frequency of tablet use and ownership of offspring was inversely related with maternal educational level and household income.What is Known:center dot Mobile phones and other similar mobile devices are now embedded in the dailylives of children.center dot There are limited data about mobile media use in early childhood, and few guidelines on which clinicians can base their recommendations.What is New:center dot The exposure to mobile devices is high in young children aged 1-60months.center dot The frequency of tablet use and ownership of offspring was inversely related to household income and maternal educational level.