Children are increasingly adopting digital media as an everyday part of their life and at a more rapid pace than ever, according to a new Ofcom study.
The watchdog’s latest annual report on children’s media habits found that for the first time 12-15 year olds are spending as much time on the internet as they do watching TV at an average of 17 hours a week.
Children’s access to the internet is not restricted to PCs or laptops.
Those aged 12-15 are more likely than last year to go online using their mobile phones and are more likely to say that this is the device they would miss the most.
When it comes to tablets, 14% of all children aged 5-15 now use a tablet device at home - a threefold increase since 2011.
Children aged 12-15 are most likely to use a tablet - 17% currently do, up from 6% in 2011.
For the first time Ofcom also researched the media habits of 3-4 year olds, which showed that age group are using a range of different media devices – 37% are going online using a desktop PC, laptop or netbook.
One in ten 3-4 year olds even use a tablet at home, according to their parents.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “Ofcom’s latest research shows that children’s take-up and use of different media is growing at a rapid pace.
“However, children are not just using more media, they are also adopting some forms at a very young age.
“This highlights the challenge that some parents face in keeping up with their children when it comes to technology and in understanding what they can do to protect children.”
For more information about children and the media and to report inappropriate material, parents can get in touch via the ParentPort website.