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More than Half of US Parents Say Kids Have Damaged a Mobile Device

Tooga/The Image Bank(NEW YORK) -- More kids than ever before are using mobile devices -- and damaging them.  A new survey shows more than 85 percent of American kids now have their own mobile device and use it an average of 3.2 hours a day.

The survey by SquareTrade, a protection plan service, finds that more than 50 percent of American parents say their kids have damaged a mobile phone, laptop, tablet or another portable device, costing moms and dads more than $2.8 billion in repairs and replacements.

Thirty-three percent of kid-caused accidents with mobile devices involved food or drink:

  • 50 percent involved milk
  • 19 percent involved chocolate
  • 17 percent involved candy
  • 16 percent involved yogurt

Boys were 35 percent more likely than girls to have caused the accident.

Additional findings:

  • 31 percent of parents say their kids have called, texted, or messaged someone by accident on their parents' devices.
  • 28 percent of parents say their kids have purchased something on a parent's mobile device without permission.
  • Nine percent of parents say their kids have taken inappropriate photos with their parents' devices.
  • 36 percent of parents have bought an additional device in order to reduce conflict in their home.

Kids age 2 and under use mobile devices for an average of 1.5 hours per day.  Kids 3-6 average 1.8 hours per day while kids 7-12 use devices for an average of three hours per day.  Teens use mobile devices an average of 4.9 hours per day.

SquareTrade’s 2013 Kids Accident Survey was conducted in June 2013 and involved 1,000 parents with at least one child.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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