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Kids Learn Using Smartphone Earlier than Tying Own Shoe laces

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By Athena Yenko | February 5, 2014 3:20 PM EST

Aussie kids were found to be more receptive in learning how to use smartphones than tying their shoe laces according to AVG Technologies poll.

To conduct the poll, AVG invited 6017 parents from 10 different countries as participants for the study. The participants include 402 Australian mothers.

In Australia alone, the study revealed that two-thirds of the kids aged three to five years are already skilled at using smartphones and iPad; 28 per cent knows how to surf through web browser and 70 per cent are skilled in computer games. However, only 8 per cent can tie their shoe laces, 29 per cent can already make their own breakfast, 31 per cent can already write their name and 58 per cent know how to ride a bike.

Surprisingly, six per cent of children six to nine years old already have Facebook accounts, the survey found out - this even with Facebook banning kids under thirteen years old.

"When kids are really immersed in technology, something has to lose out and it looks like it's not tying their shoe laces or riding their bike," AVG Technologies security adviser Michael McKinnon, told The Australian.

While National Children's Commission Megan Mitchell encourage parents to let children play outside on their own. Children should "explore the world, take risks, use their imagination and learn to climb a tree ... We're not allowing kids on the streets," Ms Mitchell said.

"It's very hard for them to become street smart when we restrict their play environment to their bedrooms."

She said that technology is not the culprit but its anxious parents that were scared to allow their kids to play outside that limit the capacity of the kids.

"I don't think we can blame technology for the change and reduction in children's active play time," she said.

However, she acknowledged that parents behaved this way mainly because of the dangers proliferating in the streets nowadays.

"There are increasing restrictions on places children can play outside, partly in response to the perceived risks out in the physical world. Parents are concerned about what might happen to their child, and what other people might think of them as parents. Working parents might not have time to organise and supervise kids' outdoor activity. I do think it's important that kids have physical experiences in their communities, and learn more about risks in the physical world," she said.

"They need to learn to run and to jump and to play, and also be unsupervised in that world; that's important for brain development."

Overall Key Findings of the poll

Kids are now true digital natives

  • Over 60% of kids are now spending more than 2 hours a week online
  • 7% of kids spend more than 10 hours a week online (12% in the U.S., 16% in Brazil)
  • 70% of mums with kids aged 6-9 are using parental controls

 Digital Skills are being learnt before life skills (2-5 year olds):

  • More kids can play a basic computer game (66%) than ride a bike (58%)
  • 47% of kids can navigate a smartphone or tablet while only 38% can write their full name
  • 28% of kids can open a web browser than make their own breakfast (26%)

 Parents are still creating digital footprints

  • 80% of parents with kids aged 0-5 have uploaded images of their child to the Internet
  • 25% of parents admitted doing so to "show off their child"
  • The most common reason to upload images is to share with family and friends however 92% of parents haven't registered their child's email address

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