It found that under-5s spend an hour and 16 minutes a day online and their screen time rises to four hours and 16 minutes when gaming and TV are included. Youngsters aged from 12 to 15 average nearly three hours a day on the Web - and two more hours watching TV.
The study said YouTube was “a near permanent feature” of many young lives and seven in 10 older children took smartphones to bed.
It concluded: “Children were watching people on YouTube pursuing hobbies that they did not do themselves or had recently given up offline.”
Creative parenting expert and author Nikki Bush believes the danger of technology is that it has become a management tool. Many times parents look to it as a virtual babysitter, to the detriment of a child’s mental health.