Children aged five and under are at risk of becoming addicted to the internet, a leading charity warns.
A report by Barnado’s has shared the concerns of support workers regarding the emotional development of very young children when they interact with social media.
The data found that more than 60 per cent of professionals who have dealt with vulnerable children indicated they were worried about under-fives using social networks, not only because of exposure to inappropriate content but also how it may affect their communication skills.
The report’s findings were based on testimony from 80 support workers who work with under-18s at 30 Barnardo’s projects across the UK.
As well as concerns for children aged five and under, the report also suggests that platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter are having a “disturbing” impact on the mental health of under-18s.