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Today's topic is "Study: Young Children Are Using Apps Meant for Adults"
Some children as young as 3 years old use apps on mobile devices that are intended for adults, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
The study used an app called Chronicle for Android devices, and screenshots of the battery page for Apple devices, to see app use information for 346 children aged 3 or 4. Of the 346 kids, 121, or about 35%, had their own device. The rest were using their parents' devices.
Parents were also asked how much time they thought their kids spent using the devices.
The study found that while some apps were age appropriate, others were gambling apps, like Cashman, or violent ones like Terrorist Shooter or Fortnite.
Many children also used "general audience" apps, like Cookie Jam and Candy Crush. Players can spend real money in these games, and children's privacy could be at risk because the apps may not restrict the data they collect or sell to advertising companies.
The study also found that most parents were wrong about how much time their kids spent using mobile devices. Fewer than 30% of parents estimated the time correctly. About 36% underestimated how much time their kids spent on their devices, and about 35% overestimated, with the parents' estimates being off by an average of more than an hour.
"Another interesting finding was how much YouTube dominated the viewing habits of so many 3- to 4-year-olds," said Dr. Jenny Radesky, the study's lead author. "Finally, we found a few kids with their own devices who had them running into the middle of the night — until 3 or 4 a.m. at times, usually [on] YouTube."
Other research has found that most kids are using devices with screens from infancy. There is also evidence that kids aged between 3 and 5 who have more than an hour a day of screen time without their parents involved have less brain development in the areas that control language and thinking skills.