Ofcom’s latest research into children’s online activity highlights the concerns of parents regarding their children’s online lives

On 4 February 2020, Ofcom revealed the results of their latest research into children’s media and online lives.

Ofcom interviewed approximately 3,500 children and parents and produced two reports of their findings: Children’s Media Use and Attitudes Report 2019, and Children’s Media lives.

The reports indicate that parents are now more likely to be concerned about their children online, with around two million parents feeling that the internet does their child more harm than good.

The reports also note the rise in girl gamers, with almost half of girls aged 5-15 now playing games online – up from 39% in 2018. The proportion of boy gamers is unchanged at 71%, but boys spend twice as long playing online each week as girls.

The findings note that parents are particularly concerned with regard to two gaming-related problems: the pressure on their child to make in-game purchases of things like loot-boxes, and the possibility of their child being bullied via online games.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Strategy and Research Group Director:

“Today’s children have never known life without the internet, but two million parents now feel the internet causes them more harm than good.

“So it’s encouraging that parents, carers and teachers are now having more conversations than ever before with children about online safety. Education and stronger regulation will also help children to embrace their digital independence, while protecting them from the risks.”

To read Ofcom’s press release in full, please follow this link: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/about-ofcom/latest/features-and-news/parents-more-concerned-about-their-children-online



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