The UK’s broadcasting and telecoms regulator Ofcom revealed today that children across the UK are now less likely to have a TV in their bedroom than any time in the last five years, but are far more likely to own a tablet.
Announced in the organization’s annual Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, one in three (34 percent) UK kids aged between 5 and 15 now has their own tablet. Even if they don’t have one to call their own, in total 62 percent of children use a tablet at home. Perhaps more surprisingly, 11 percent of children aged between 3 and 4 now have their own tablets, up from 3 percent last year.
Ofcom said it’s likely that this increase in tablet use and ownership (not to ignore the lure of on-demand programming) has led to the decrease in children having TV sets in their bedroom – down from 66 percent in 2009 to 46 percent this year. Nonetheless, when questioned about which devices they’d miss most, younger kids still said the TV ahead of mobiles, tablets or games consoles.
While the number of children using a tablet to go online has grown, this year marks the first time that the figures for children using PCs, laptops or netbooks to go online actually fell – by a total of three percent, to 88 percent overall.
Naturally, with this more ubiquitous internet access for children comes certain potential risks. As a result, Ofcom said nine in ten parents are “taking steps to help their children manage risks when using the internet”; these include supervision (84 percent), discussing the risks (78 percent) and having rules in place about internet access (82 percent).
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