Nursery group survey reveals that many parents do not set time limits on how long their two and three-year-olds can play with electronic devices

Karen Faux
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Time spent on screens outweighs time spent outdoors according to poll, which also highlights that many children have never held a bug, picked up sticks or fed the ducks.

A study of 300 families, conducted by the Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, revealed that 93 per cent of respondents with children aged two-to-five-years-old, believe their children are spending too much time in front of electronic devices.

Sixty per cent of this group have given their toddlers a tablet, with more than half being three years old or younger.  

When asked what their child uses the devices for, TV shows came out on top with 79 per cent of children using screens to watch their favourite shows. Fifty nine per cent use the devices to play games, which is the same number who use them for educational apps, and 50 per cent for watching films.

One of the most concerning findings of the report is that 29 per cent of parents polled admitted they do not have screen time limits for their toddlers.

Deprived of the great outdoors
When parents were questioned about the amount of outdoor time their child enjoys, 31 per cent said they get three hours or less weekly outdoor time.

This is surprisingly little considering the same percentage (31 per cent) access two-to-three hours of screen time per day, with 11 per cent getting over four hours daily. If spread out evenly over the week this works out to be only 25 minutes per day.

According to the NHS physical activity guidelines for under-fives, toddlers should be physically active for at least three hours per day. And although this includes indoor play, it can be assumed that, for some, indoor time is being monopolised by screens.

When given a list of outdoor activities it was revealed 44 per cent of toddlers have never held a bug, 36 per cent haven’t collected sticks, 35 per cent have yet to dig in mud and 30 per cent haven’t fed ducks – all arguably priceless childhood experiences that introduce little ones to nature and wildlife.

Kiddi Caru says these figures could suggest the next generation are at risk of losing touch with nature and wildlife, which is concerning in a time where conservation and being environmentally conscious is crucial.



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