Third of under-tens 'own mobiles'

An iphone Children, like adults, crave the latest gadgets

Related Stories

Nearly a third of children aged ten or under now have their own mobile phone, according to survey of parents.

One in ten said their child was using an internet capable smartphone, such as the iPhone or Android devices.

The research by cloud security firm Westcoastcloud questioned 2,000 families about their technology ownership.

It comes as the government considers mandatory content filters for net connections used by children.

In those households surveyed, 16% of children owned their own laptop, while 18% had a flat-screen TV in their bedroom. A quarter of those aged ten or under had an email address while 8% had a social networking account.

Most parents agreed that 10 was a suitable age for children to have their own phone with the majority (69%) saying they bought one to keep in touch with their offspring when they are out.

A quarter of children owned a Nintendo Wii, and around 16% had a digital music player.

Parents appeared to have mixed attitudes to how much they monitored what their children did online. More (21%) said they didn't follow their child on a social network than those that did (13%).

By contrast, only 12% said they left children to 'play' unmonitored when using a laptop or computer.

There was also an even spilt when it came to using parental controls with just under half (49%) saying they blocked access to certain sites while the remainder admitted they had no controls.

For Will Gardner of children's charity Childnet, the findings reiterate the need for parents to understand how their children are using technology.

"It is important to help ensure parents are aware of the full functionality of the technology that young children are accessing and that they are able to use the tools and give the support that young people need to stay safe and get the most out of these devices," he said.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has set up a website - thinkuknow - in order to offer advice and guidance on how youngsters use technology.

"We know that technology, especially mobile phones, are now part of parcel of childrens' everyday lives. They allow the internet to be at the fingertips of young people, which means it is now increasingly difficult for parents to manage their child's use of it," said a CEOP spokesperson.

The government is currently considering the recommendations of the Bailey Review which calls for internet service providers to automatically offer parents software that will filter out harmful content.

The measures could be included in the revised Communications Act, due by 2015.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Technology stories


Features & Analysis

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • INDHUJA'Dorky tomboy'

    The Indian who attracted proposals through honesty

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.