YOUNG children are being turned into social media junkies, a report revealed yesterday.
Three in four aged between ten and 12 have their own accounts despite the age limit of 13, the study said.
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said many youngsters faced “an avalanche of pressure” to be constantly contactable and connected.
Many measure their sense of worth by the level of online approval they receive.
Children are at risk of “significant emotional harm” from social media when they reach secondary school, report says.
Her report on children aged eight to 12 revealed sites such as Snapchat and Whatsapp are “still not doing enough” to protect children.
She said youngsters should be given digital literacy and resilience lessons and warned that failure to help could leave them “chasing likes to make them feel happy”.
Her study of eight to 12-year-olds showed many were “starting secondary school ill-equipped to cope”.
Ms Longfield said she was shocked by the change in social media use between nine and ten and up to 12 and 13 from fun apps to a “cliff edge” of interaction.
The report also called on social media giants to stop younger children using their sites.