One-in-ten children have a mobile phone by the time they’re five, with the average Brit kid getting a mobile around the age of 12.
The figures, which have emerged in research from uSwitch.com, also show that 15 per cent of kids under 16 years old have a phone worth more than their parents. Most parents, however, spend an average of £246 on their phone, almost double the amount the £125 they spend on their children’s. Monthly costs also sit higher for adults – roughly £19 a month compared to the £11 spent on their kids’ contracts.
Despite the average combined cost of a mobile for their kids running up to over £250 a year, almost half (42 per cent) of parents don’t keep a track of their children’s phone spending, with only a quarter capping data.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch, says that asking the network to cap your child’s data is "very sensible", also reminding parents to ensure that at home Wi-Fi is used, instead of mobile data connections such as 3G and 4G, to avoid racking up additional costs.
"Asking networks to place caps on [kids ’] mobile bills takes about five minutes," said Doku.
With an easy way to limit extra charges, parents can allow their children to socialise and have emergency contact, without having to phone for help themselves.
Image of child on phone provided by Shutterstock.co.uk