Dr. Mona Al Mulhim, Dr. Dalal Alkhateeb, Dr. Mohammed Al Jamaan, Dr. Yasser Elmedany
Abstract: This study aims to measure the prevalence of electronic device usage among primary school children and assess the effects of electronics use. A cross sectional study was conducted on 459 children in 5th and 6th grades from 10 primary schools in 2019. A self-administered validated questionnaire developed for the purpose of this study was distributed to the children to be filled by their parents or guardians. Of 500 distributed questionnaires, 459 (91.8 %) forms were received; mothers 33.6 % by fathers, and 6.1 % by others answered 60.3 %. Analysis of questionnaire responses revealed that 78.6 % of children have their own electronic devices and 21.4 % children use them for more than 3 hours a day during weekdays. This figure rises to 47.8 % during weekends. The most common situation of using electronic devices was before sleep (41.4 %), and the most prominent cause for parents allowing the use of electronic devices was entertainment (62.5 %) followed by learning (50.1 %) Bivariate analysis revealed that spending 13 hours on electronic devices daily was significantly associated with laziness, sleep disorders, and fewer sleep hours. Primary school children spend long hours using different electronic devices. Increased time using electronic devices is associated with laziness, sleep disturbances, and fewer sleep hours.
Keywords: electronic devices, primary school children, Saudi Arabia