Parents Give Kids a Tablet to Keep Them Quiet, Survey Finds
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
February 16 2012 04:55 PM ET
Tablets have joined the ranks of electronic babysitters. Unlike the TV and the computer, an iPad can slip into a baby bag along with an extra pair of Pull-Ups and a bag of Cheerios and provide parents with an hour or two of peace — or at least enough time to get through their dinner.
In households with a tablet and kids under 12, seven out of every 10 children use the family tablets, according to a survey released today (Feb. 16) from Nielsen. More than half of parents (55 percent) said they hand over the device to their children while traveling, while 41 percent use them in restaurants. Face time with Grandma? Not so much. Only 15 percent of parents said tablets were used for communicating with friends and family.
Games seemed to be more effective than passive TV shows and movies at keeping kids entertained. Seventy-seven percent of moms and dads surveyed said their kids play downloaded games, and 57 percent said their kids were accessing educational apps. Angry Birds is a counting game, right?
Forty-one percent said their kids watched TV shows and movies on a tablet.
The growing trend of tots on tablets has not gone unnoticed among media companies. Netflix launched its "Just for Kids" channel last year for children ages 2 to 11. With its own tab, Netflix put the characters, instead of titles, up front to make it easy for kids to choose what they want to watch without help from mom or dad. And unlike the pesky TV remote with its rows of tiny buttons, tablets with their jab and swipe controls are ideal for youngsters.