Kids spend an average of seven hours 38 minutes a day using electronic devices such as smartphones, digital audio players and games consoles, says the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Research by the Foundation revealed that due to 'media multitasking' or using more than one device at a time, some kids are spending the equivalent of 10 hours using these electronic devices.

The Foundation said children spend 1 hour 17 minutes more with these digital devices than in 2004 because devices have "revolutionised the way children access television programmes, films and music".

The research also revealed the children spend an average of 1 hour 35 was sending or receiving texts, while girls are more prone to use social networks such as Facebook, spending 25 minutes a day on the sites compared to boys who spend 19 minutes per day.

Michele Elliott, a child psychologist and founder of the child welfare charity Kidscape, told The Times: "It's a very sad state of affairs and I hope the research will be a wake-up call for some parents. As far as some people are concerned these devices have become like an opiate designed to keep children quiet".

"When children are using these devices they are not communicating or interacting with anyone else [in person]. They may be very good at texting but how do they do when they have to meet someone face to face?"