Prevalence of Use of Smart Devices in Children Aged Five Years or Less and Associated Factors in Kuwait

Author(s): Abdullah Shamsah, Basma Al-Tawari, Fatemah Jamal, Latifa Al-Farhan, Madawi Al-Mass, Abdullah A Al-Majran, Sara Shamsah

Background: This study aimed to find prevalence of use of smart devices in children aged five years or less and associated factors in Kuwait.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 964 parents conducted by distributing a questionnaire. Following the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for the smart devices use in children, our population was divided into two groups (less than 2 years old and 2-5 years old).

Results: Reported prevalence of use was 53.2% in children less than 2 years old and 86.3% in 2-5 years old. A significantly higher mean age of fathers was seen in children who used smart devices compared to those who did not in both age groups. The use of smart devices in children less than 2 years was significantly associated with Kuwaiti nationality, family income and governorate. In addition, the higher the family income, the more the use of smart devices. The highest use of smart devices was seen in Capital (60%) and Ahmadi (58.3%). While the lowest was seen in Jahra (30%). In both age groups, most of the parents who reported the smart devices use in their children knew that its use at early age might harm their child.

Conclusion: Young children use of smart devices is prevalent in Kuwait. Campaigns need to be carried out to increase parents’ knowledge about the potential risks of smart devices on children’s brains and development.

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