NEWS11 October 2017

Toddlers take possession of digital devices

Mobile News Technology Trends UK Youth

UK – More than half of three to four year-olds now own their own tablet or laptop device, according to new research. 

Child with tablet_crop

The study from Childwise highlights the growing ease young children have with technology. By the age of three to four, most children are already competent users of touch screen technology, with 64% able to turn the volume up or down and 60% able to open the apps they want to use, according to the research.

Additionally, over half of children in this age group ( 53%) are comfortable using apps independently, while 49% can take photographs themselves using a touch screen device.

Of children who don’t own their own device, seven out of 10 under-fives have access to either a tablet or laptop at home.

The study on toddlers’ use of media questioned more than 1,000 parents of under-fives in the UK.

The majority of parents surveyed ( 82%) are comfortable with the amount of time their child spends consuming video content, but 14% are not comfortable with their viewing levels. Pre-schoolers are most likely to use a device to watch TV programmes and video clips, with two-thirds using their devices for this purpose.

The findings also reflect the growing prevalence of on-demand services, with more than four out of five households now using services such as YouTube and Netflix to some extent. By age three to four, the majority of pre-schoolers are using video-on-demand services to access TV shows, with specialist YouTube channels for children now factoring in to the mix.

Jenny Ehren, research manager at Childwise, said: “Pre-schoolers have become accustomed to borrowing or sharing connected devices such as tablets; it is an everyday occurrence for many of them.

“But in recent years we have seen a noticeable shift towards personal ownership. As ever-advanced devices come to market; when the time comes to upgrade, parents appear more willing to hand down older devices to their children, considering them a great way to keep small children entertained and provide a learning benefit.”