Safety-conscious parents are buying mobile phones for children as young as FOUR, it was revealed in a new survey carried out by MobileLocators.com.
Fears about child abduction have left British mums and dads desperate to keep tabs on their youngsters - and as a result, nearly two thirds have invested in a mobile phone for their offspring.
But many parents are taking security a stage further - by turning to the very latest satellite spy technology to ensure the safety of their kids "on a day-to-day basis".
The controversial ‘Big Brother' technology is a new method of tracing mobiles - and kids - wherever they are.
Hundreds of mums and dads have already registered their children's mobile phone numbers with the website http://www.mobilelocators.com/ to pinpoint the user's exact location.
And of the 2,100 people polled - two thirds said they would be happy to invest in the new software, no matter how intrusive.
But some concerned parents say it is wrong to take away an individual's privacy and trust.
A third say that they don't want to make their children paranoid of their every move - and question whether it is right to trace a child's whereabouts 24 hours a day.
Company boss Jonathan Cook said: "In this day and age, concern for security outweighs the worry about the Big Brother phenomenon."
One in five people said it wouldn't just be their children they chose to trace with the new technology - 18 per cent said their other half, and the two in ten said an elderly relative.
When asked how old their child was when they were first given a mobile phone, 16 per cent said 10, 20 per cent said 11 and 14 per cent said 12.
Two per cent said they had bought their child a mobile at the age of four.
Of the 43 per cent of parents who refused to allow their kids to have a mobile, most said their decision was based on their belief that the child was "not old enough" to have one.
Other reasons were the fear that it would encourage bullying or theft, that the child would "get addicted" to text messaging, or that it could cause a brain tumour.
But the decision not to allow them a mobile phone is creating a "massive" extra workload for security-conscious parents.
Nearly 20 per cent of them give their children a lift "everywhere". Twelve per cent do not allow their youngsters out after dark and some parents admitted to "positively vetting" their child's friends.
Jonathan Cook added: "Our aim at http://www.mobilelocators.com/ is to give parents peace of mind. The service we provide can give parents and even businesses peace of mind, so that they are providing protection for anyone they have a responsibility to whether as a parent, or an employer."