Dr Richard Woolfson, child psychologist and Knowthenet spokesman, said: 'The internet offers wonderful experiences for growing and inquisitive young minds.
'Yet, as social media has removed the barriers between a young person's public and private self, children can become vulnerable, and compulsive online sharing can lead to danger.
'As this study shows, children are gaining access to social media sites at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth and which they're not emotionally prepared for.
'Parents can no longer protect children by simply trying to limit their online experiences. Instead parents need to maintain an open dialogue and encourage children to share both good and bad online experiences, talk openly and straightforwardly about the risks they may encounter online without scaring them and make sure they keep up with the latest social media crazes and work with their children rather than trying to control them.