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One in ten under 10s owns an iPhone

Five percent even have an iPad

One in ten UK kids owns an iPhone, says Westcoastcloud.

The security firm asked 2,000 parents with children aged 10 and under about their gadgets and found that one in ten parents thinks its ok for children as young as four to own a mobile phone. Furthermore, 17 percent of the parents polled said they had bought their child a mobile phone following much pestering.

Typically, parents said they considered that by the time a child reaches the age of 10, they were happy for them to own a smartphone. More than two thirds (68 percent) said the handset helped them keep tabs on their children's whereabouts.

Five percent of primary school children own an iPad.

Nearly nine in ten (88 percent) of parents pay for their child's mobile phone, although two thirds said the handset is on a pay-as-you-go basis rather than a monthly tariff. Three quarters claim the phone bill costs £10 per month, although five percent admit their child racks up £20 worth of calls and texts per month.

Half of parents surveyed own a smartphone, while 72 percent have their own laptop or tablet PC. Of these, 15 percent said their child regularly uses their smartphone and ten percent log on to their parent's laptop.

On average, kids spend around three hours a week online, but half of parents admit to not using parental controls on internet-connected devices in the home. Furthermore, 22 percent argue with their child about the amount of time spent online.

"It's great that youngsters are interested and engaged with the latest technology, but children owning their own phones as young as four does seem unnecessary," said Bill Strain, director of Westcoastcloud.

"Kids will always be able to gain access to their parents' phones and laptops but when primary school age children gain access to the internet on these devices, parents need to be aware. There's the potential that they could access unsuitable or potentially harmful content."

Westcoastcloud also revealed nearly ten percent of children aged ten and under have a social account, despite Facebook and MySpace stating the minimum user age is 13. A quarter of parents also admitted their child had an email account.

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