Less than half of parents read to their children

A recent survey also found that 68% of under 12s own a smart device

Irish children are reading less and using technology more, as 68% of under 12s now own a smart device.

A survey carried out by St Michael's House found that almost one in four children (23%) are now using the device as part of their bedtime routine, with parents stating that more than half of children (55%) prefer screen time to reading.

Just under half (49%) of parents read to their children most nights, with almost 29% saying that they never do. 43% of children spend more than 45 mins on a device per day.

The survey was carried out in advance of the charity’s annual ‘Bring A Book, Buy A Book’  fundraising campaign, which encourages schools, businesses and communities to donate their second hand books which can then by bought by their peers for just €2 per book. The campaign encourages people to close a screen and open a book.

Barbara Wiseman, Head of Communications St Michael’s House, commented: "Our statistics show that we are all – our children included - perhaps overlooking the joy of reading a book as we instead use technology and devices to wind down at the end of a day. We would urge parents to take the time during World Book Week to pick up some books, and get reading again."