U.S. parents rearing a gadget-laden generation

Research released June 9 indicates that U.S. parents are rearing a young gadget-laden generation that is at home with smart phones, laptop computers, and video game consoles, AFP reports. U.S. households with children between the ages of four and 14 have an average of 11 electronic gizmos, according to a Kids and Consumer Electronics report from industry tracker NPD Group, and one-third of parents surveyed said they plan to buy their child an electronic device in the coming year. Younger children are in line for electronic learning toys, while older offspring can expect mobile telephones or digital cameras, NPD found. In a shift from earlier NPD studies, girls are apparently more likely than boys to use mobile telephones or laptop computers, and children using mobile telephones prefer text messaging and sending pictures to talking on the devices, NPD found. Text messaging by children has "skyrocketed," according to the report. Televisions and computers remain the top two devices used by children, but the study shows a shift to high-definition sets and laptop computers. Survey results also indicate that 37 percent of U.S. children use personal digital music players, compared with six percent in 2005, and one in four kids owns a video game console…

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