Most children own a mobile phone by the age of SEVEN

Most children have their own mobile phone by the age of SEVEN and half of them sleep with it beside their bed, report suggests

  • Report found almost all children have a mobile phone by secondary school  
  • More than half (53 per cent) have a phone by the time they reach seven years old 
  • Seven out of ten children have access to the internet on their phone, report finds

A damning report has found most children (53 per cent) own a mobile phone by the age of seven years old.  

The report, which is based on a survey of 2,167 five to 16-year-olds in the UK, goes on to say that by age 11, nine in 10 children have their own device.

Phone ownership is now ‘almost universal’ once children are in secondary school, it revealed.   

It also found 57 per cent of children sleep with their phone by their bed and almost two in five (39 per cent) youngsters say they could not live without their phone.

Researchers said the findings show the extent to which phones can ‘dominate children’s lives’.

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The report, which is based on a survey of 2,167 UK five to 16-year-olds, claims that 53 per cent of youngsters are now mobile phone owners by around the age of seven (file photo) 

For more than 70 per cent of children, their phones are also connected to the internet. 

Overall, children spend three hours and 20 minutes each day messaging, playing games and being online, the report by Childwise found, down slightly on last year.  

The report found teenagers aged 15 and 16 are most concerned about being without their phones.

And just under half (44 per cent) said they would feel uncomfortable if they are somewhere without phone signal, while 42 per cent admitted to being ‘constantly worried’ about running out of charge.

Simon Leggett, research director at Childwise, said: ‘This year, young children have increasing access to mobile phones and they are using them for longer periods of time. 

‘With the majority of children now phone owners by age seven, average daily usage among 7-10 year olds has gone up by almost an hour a day.’

With more children having phones, using them more often and likely being connected to the internet, it is altering what children are watching. 

Mr Leggett said: ‘It’s a new era for content and TV and a completely new way of doing things. 

‘Children are online all the time, checking in on their mobiles while out and about. Content is likely to get shorter and shorter to fit with this way of viewing.’ 

The report asked children to name their favourite apps or websites.

Online giant YouTube remains dominant, the study revealed, with children saying they spend an average of almost two and a half hours a day on the site. 

Overall, children spend three hours and 20 minutes each day messaging, playing games and being online, the report by Childwise found, down slightly on last year. The report says teenagers aged 15 and 16 are most concerned about being without their phones (stock)

WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR WEBSITES FOR CHILDREN? 

Around 61 per cent of kids use YouTube every day and their favourite YouTubers are PewDiePie followed by DanTDM, LazarBeam and Sidemen, the report finds. 

This is the first year the controversial Swedish gamer PewDiePie has topped the list as the most popular YouTuber. 

However, social networking sites such as Instagram are becoming increasingly popular among seven to 16-year-olds. 

Girls are more likely to name social media as their favourite, while YouTube remains more popular with teenage boys. 

‘Video sites, such as YouTube, remain children’s favourite type of websites or app. The number of children naming social networking sites, such as Instagram, as their favourite has increased this year and is now one in five,’ says Mr Leggett. 

‘Almost one in five 7-16-year-olds choose an instant messaging/chat website or app as their favourite. Fewer children choose a games website or app this year.

‘The majority of children using YouTube can name a favourite YouTuber. One in four children who use the website/app name a gaming channel as their favourite.’ 

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