However, this trend raises concerns about the potential impact on children’s development and well-being.
According to a report by Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, children aged 5 to 15 spend an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes per day online. This figure increases to 3 hours and 32 minutes for children aged 12 to 15. Furthermore, a recent survey by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) found that 9 out of 10 children in the UK own a smartphone by the age of 12.
In Ireland, research by CyberSafeKids found that 95% of 8-12 year-olds have their own smartphone and 87% of 8-12 year olds had their own social media account. Furthermore, the research showed that 15% reported having ‘no rules’ around usage and 34% said they could go online ‘whenever they want’.
These statistics highlight the extent to which children are using technology in the UK and Ireland. While there are undoubtedly benefits to technology use, such as access to educational resources and the ability to stay connected with friends and family, there are also concerns about the potential risks. For example, excessive screen time has been linked to a range of negative outcomes, including poor sleep quality, reduced physical activity, and increased risk of obesity.
As professionals working in the community, health, education and disability services, it is important to ensure that parents understand that children’s use of technology is balanced and appropriate. This includes giving parents the tools to be able to set limits on screen time and encourage their children to engage in other activities, such as outdoor play and face-to-face social interaction. It also means providing the knowledge and support to make them vigilant about the content that their children are accessing online and how to take steps to protect their privacy and security.
The Parents Plus Healthy Families Programme is a highly effective evidence-based programme that has been specifically designed to support families in improving their relationships, communication, and overall well-being. As a professional, attending the training for this programme can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively deliver this programme to families in your community and covers a wide range of topics important to parents including setting up rules around technology use at home.
With our Healthy Families Programme, you can empower parents to create healthy and connected families and improve the well-being of everyone. Learn more about this unique programme training here.
In conclusion, while technology is an increasingly important part of children’s lives, it is important to approach it with caution and care. By setting appropriate limits and ensuring that children’s technology use is balanced with other activities, we can help to promote their development and well-being in the digital age.
For all our latest programme training dates you can visiting our booking calendar here.