Children watch screens for six hours a day

A report has suggested that children today are spending six and a half hours every day watching a screen, representing a significant increase compared to 20 years ago.

This figure is an average value taken for children between the ages of five and 16, with teenage boys topping the scale with a staggering eight hours a day, on average. The lowest figure was reported for eight-year-old girls, who look at screens for an average of three and a half hours each day. The data was collated by surveying 2,000 children.

The report also highlighted that TVs are not the only source, because thanks to smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers now offering catch-up TV and other features, children are finding themselves more and more exposed to screens.

Back in 1995, the average screen-time was just three hours a day. This figure then rose to four and a half hours in 2014, showing that in the last year alone, the average time spent watching a screen has gone up another two hours.

Matthew Nevard, research executive, explained: “The main difference from the 1990s is that then TV and magazines were the main ways for connecting kids to the media and now they have different devices from tablets, mobiles, games consoles and they have a much higher screen time.”

YouTube and Netflix are two media services which are incredibly popular nowadays, with children spending many hours every day on their sites. However, it is not just videos, as children spend an alarming amount of time on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook also.

Nevard added: “The internet is pivotal to their lives and they are now able to access a wealth of content.”