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One In Three UK Children Now Owns A Tablet

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Ofcom survey reveals increasing presence of tablet devices amongst youngsters

British children are becoming increasingly tech-savvy, with much of this knowledge gained from using their own devices at home, a study has found.

A survey from industry regulator Ofcom found that one in three UK children aged between 5 and 15 now has their own tablet computer, with six in ten (62 percent) of children now using a tablet at home

Both these figures represent significant increases from the previous year, and show that more and more children now own their own tablet, rather than using devices belonging to their parents or school. This even includes children too young to attend school, as more than one in 10 children aged 3-4 now has their own tablet.

Ofcom also found that twice as many children aged 5-15 are using a tablet to go online (42 percent versus 23 percent in 2013), which could have implications in future use of laptops and PCs. For the first time, the proportion of children accessing the internet on a PC, laptop or netbook fell, by three percentage points, year on year, to 88 percent.

Ofcom LogoChild’s play?

This proliferation of personal tablets among children has led many parents to take steps ensuring that their children stay safe online, with nine in ten parents saying they took some precautions.

Ofcom, which backs Get Safe Online, the UK’s national internet security awareness initiative, also found that over half of parents use some kind of technical tool to manage online risks, including filters provided by internet companies, using PIN/passwords and parental control and virus protection software.

Many parents said that they felt that their child knows more about theIinternet than they do, with the figure reaching nearly two thirds (62 percent) for parents of children aged 12-15.

The popularity of devices such as tablets has also led to a fall in the number of children with a television in their bedroom, Ofcom found, as they increasingly watch content on their tablet instead. Overall, the proportion of children watching TV on a tablet rose by a third in 2014 to 20 percent (up from 15 percent in 2013) while a third (33 percent) said that they watched on-demand TV.

Children aged 5-15 also spend more time watching TV every week (14.6 hours) than doing any other media activity, although there has been a decrease since 2013 when it was 15.4 hours.

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