Could tablets be the new pacifiers?

A new study has found that as many as 92 percent of kids have used a mobile device before their first birthday, Shepard Smith reported today.

And a quarter of parents with kids aged 1 or younger say their children managed to get by just fine without any help, according to research from the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

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Most parents – about 65 percent – say the devices serve as an effective distraction tool, used to keep kids entertained while performing chores or out in public.

As such, one in five children now have their own tablets, say researchers.

“The results – based on surveys of parents in 350 households in Philadelphia - aren’t nationally representative,” reports Reuters.

But they do shine a light on "the pervasive nature of digital exposure" among very young children, says the study’s co-author, Dr. Matilde Irigoyen.

“I think they’re so ubiquitous, and they’re shiny and bright and make fun noises, the kids are naturally attracted to them,” Kennedy said on Shepard Smith Reporting. “The question is, as a parent, how much time do you allow your child to spend on the device?”

Watch the discussion above.

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