Children as young as six months are playing with gadgets and youngsters are using their parents' mobile phones without their knowledge, research has suggested.
It showed that nearly a fifth of parents (19%) said their children had sent a text message or made calls from their mobile phone without them knowing at the time.
The survey, carried out by Legal and General, also found that one in ten children had downloaded apps onto a parent's smartphone without their knowledge.
Nearly two-thirds (60%) of youngsters between six months and two years play with gadgets such as tablet computers and laptops, and one in ten children aged six months do so too.
The research found that 36% of fathers were comfortable with letting children under four play with gadgets, but only 23% of mothers felt that way.
Mike Lawler, from Legal and General, said: "I find it amazing how quickly children know how to use technology gadgets. But inquisitive fingers can soon become expensive fingers if the gadget they play with should break.
"We are increasingly bringing new and often expensive pieces of technology into our homes, which if left within reach, can be very tempting for a child to then play with. While smartphones and HD TVs can help to keep children entertained, we need to be watchful to protect these expensive items and also those little fingers."
The survey of 2,000 people was carried out by OnePoll between April 13 and 15 this year.