14/08/2014 16:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Number Of Kids Using Tablets Triples

Number of kids using tablet computers triples

If you worry that your children spend too much time on their mobile phones, then fear no more – it's their tablet computers you should be concerned about!

For it has been revealed that mobile phones have fallen out of favour with fickle youth and are now soooooo last year!

Instead, they have turned to tablets to access the internet and – on a more serious note – that presents an opportunity for curious children to bypass parental safety measures.

The number of children who own a basic mobile phone fell from 28 per cent to 15 per cent last year. But tablet computers are becoming a must-have device for children of all ages, according to figures compiled by Ofcom.

The use of tablets has tripled among five to 15-year-olds, up from 14 per cent to 42 per cent since 2012, and more than a quarter of three and four-year-olds now use a tablet computer at home.

Tablet usage is also rising rapidly among five to seven-year-olds, up from 11 per cent last year to 39 per cent, and eight to 11-year-olds, up from 13 per cent last year to 44 per cent.

The age groups are five times more likely than last year to use mostly a tablet when accessing the internet at home.

The proportion of children mainly using a laptop, netbook or desktop computer to use the internet has fallen from 85 per cent last year to 68 per cent.

More than four in 10 parents of five to 15-year-olds who use a home PC, laptop or netbook to go online say they have some kind of parental controls in place.

Although 18 per cent of internet users aged 12 to 15 say they know how to change online filters or controls, just six per cent say they have done so in the past year.

A quarter of parents of five to 15-year-old internet users are concerned about cyberbullying, while one in seven said they were concerned about their child cyberbullying somebody else.

The findings are part of Ofcom's report Children And Parents: Media Use And Attitudes, which examines how children access and use different types of media and the role parents play in overseeing them.