Kids are learning to use the computer faster than they learn to tie their shoes…wow!

According to a survey on Digital Skills released by AVG Technologies, it found that 2-5 year-olds all over the world are learning computer skills faster than life skills. Plus, the article says that “children, on average, have an online footprint by the time they are 6 months old” based on all of the photo posting, etc.

Click the graphic to enlarge – think nursery meets hi-tech.

Here are some of AVG’s latest findings:

– More young children know how to play a computer game (58%) than swim (20%) or ride a bike (52%).

– About 69% of children can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces.

– And 28% of 2-5 year olds can make a mobile call while only 20% know to call 911 in case of an emergency.

While the findings may not be surprising to most parents – tying shoes can be hard – it is just how easy tech is to use, that is really the issue. This means that online safety must become a skill set taught early on by parents. Do 2-5 years-old seem too young for parents to start discussing tech education and how to be safe? In an era of cyber-bullying and online predators we must ask ourselves just how much parents should be concerned about this and how they can start protecting their kids from the very beginning.

Here are some tips to help parents start thinking about how they should monitor their children’s interaction with technology at this age.

1. Keep parental control software on your computer and keep the computer in the living room where Internet activity can be monitored. Set a time limit.

2. If you allow your child to play with your smartphone or tablet try to keep the apps educational and stay nearby. Do your best to steer away from using mobile sites to keep your kids entertained. It’s very easy for them to hit the wrong button and accidentally land on content you haven’t approved.

3. Keep your very young children off social networks. This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you allow them to sit on your lap while you check your profile or update your status it won’t be long before they’ll want to participate too.

4. Stay informed. Visit review sites and never assume your child doesn’t know enough or isn’t capable enough to put themselves in harm’s way.

Editor’s Note: Good reminders, good tips, and eye-opening survey results. I once heard that kids are so savvy at their app’s, computer technologies, texting – yet, you ask them to do a load of laundry, and they look at you as if you’re speaking a foreign language. The washer/dryer is way less technologically challenging, yet it’s not a source of entertainment or something that kids happily accept as a chore. Maybe we should put a small flat screen on the front…. 🙂

What ideas do you have to keep our kids safe online? Are you surprised to hear that the digital footprint is established at such a young age ?