Study: 97 percent of 1-year-olds exposed to mobile devices

FILE -- Child plays with computer and mobile phone. (KGO-TV)

A new study shows a shocking number of small kids have access to tech devices. The study published in the Journal Pediatrics finds nearly universal exposure and use of mobile devices by young children.

Nearly 97 percent of parents surveyed say their kids use mobile devices -- most started before they celebrated their first birthday. About one in five one-year-olds have their own tablet computer. More than one in four two-year-olds can navigate a smartphone without any assistance and 28 percent of parents say they use a mobile device to put their kids to sleep.

However, campaigns like First 5 California say technology is no substitute for face to face interaction with your child. The educational platform encourages parents to talk, read and sing to their babies to promote healthy brain development.

Lead researchers involved in the new study agree that social interaction and conversation is critical. But given the high level of toddlers already using technology, researchers say parents need support and guidance to help them turn digital media into an educational device.

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