Kids glued to screens

These days kids are getting their “square eyes” in front of computer screens as well as TV.

Children are spending almost as much time online each day as they do watching free-to-air television, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The authority, which studied 751 families with children aged between eight and 17, found on average that children spent 87 minutes watching free-to-air TV each day, and 77 minutes online.

The older children are spending more time glued to a screen, with 30 minutes for those aged eight to 11, to almost 2.5 hours for 15 to 17 year olds.

Most families have three TVs and three mobile phones, almost all have a DVD player and computer, about a third had pay TV, more than seven in 10 had a broadband internet connection, and 75% had a games console.

The authority has warned the internet sector it can expect more scrutiny in future.

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