by Sam Laird for Mashable
Gadgets such as smartphones and tablets are becoming more and more embedded in kids’ lives. From middle schoolers with smartphones to babies who are comfortable with an iPad but can’t work a magazine, many children today grow up as true digital natives. And parents are catching on that gadgets can help control and distract their little rugrats.
According to one study, nearly a quarter of parents have given their kid a smartphone, iPod or iPad to keep them busy while they take care of business. Nearly 40% of kids aged eight and under have used tablets or smartphones in some capacity. And tablet usage by kids aged 12 and under rose nearly 10 percent from last summer to fall, according to another survey.
But can so much tech immersion ever replace human supervision and interaction for young humans? The online education portal Schools.com pulled statistics from a variety of news and research sources to compile an infographic showing just how much technology modern kids grow up around.
Many parents seem to think gadgets don’t just keep kids occupied — they can also help them grow and learn. 77% of parents think tablets are beneficial to kids, and 77% think they help develop creativity, according to Schools.com’s findings. More than a quarter of parents have downloaded apps for their kids. The top genres? Fun, at 46%; education, at 42%; and creative, at 28%.
Check out the infographic below for the fuller picture on just how much trust parents put in gadgets.