One fifth of five-year-olds own a mobile phone

Nearly a fifth of five- to six-year-olds own their own mobile phone, according to a new report from Childwise. This jumps to 41% by the time children are aged seven to eight, and increases to 59% for nine- and 10-year-olds. By age 11, nine in ten have their own phone (91%)

  • Children spend an average of three hours a day using their phone for activities such as messaging, playing games and going online. 15% use their phone for six or more hours a day.
  • The top three activities were: making and receiving calls (72%), accessing the internet (71%) and instant messaging (71%).
  • Mobile phone ownership among children reached peak levels in 2008 at 73%.  The introduction of tablets has actually reduced phone ownership to 64%.

The mobile phone is now the go-to device for children’s media activity, whether it is listening to music, checking social media or catching up on the latest Netflix series in their bedroom.

Simon Leggett, research director, Childwise.

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