DUBLIN, Ireland - Despite age restrictions being set on most platforms, a new research has revealed that over half of nine-year-olds are using social media in the country.
The survey, conducted by a charity that promotes online safety among children, CyberSafeIreland, further found that over two thirds of eight to 13-year-olds in Ireland own their own smartphone.
More shockingly, the research conducted by the charity revealed that almost a fifth of children talk to strangers online every day.
As part of its in-school training program that was offered to over 5,000 children in 60 schools over the past academic year, CyberSafeIreland conducted a survey which released the shocking results.
Findings of the survey, that were published as part of the charity's annual report noted that in the eight to 13-year-old age group in Ireland, seven out of every ten use social media and messaging apps.
The high usage amongst the age group comes despite the Digital Age of Consent being set at 16 recently.
Its also revealed that a fifth of 12-year-olds are spending more than four hours a day online.
Meanwhile, 41 percent of eight and nine-year-olds are playing over-18s games, which exposes them to highly inappropriate content.
They survey further pointed out that a third of children rarely or never talk to their parents about online safety.
CyberSafeIreland has now called on the Government to do more than its recent program - the Action Plan for Online Safety.
The charity is further calling on the government to set clear time-bound measurable targets on the issue.