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AlMokali, AlJammaz, AlHoraibi, AlDujayn, Saadeh, and Fattani: Assessment of caregiver’s knowledge about child development in the first two years of life in Saudi Arabia

Introduction: Child development refers to the changes that occur as a child grows and develops. The first two years of a child’s life are fundamentally important.

Objectives: To assess the knowledge among caregivers about child development in Saudi Arabia in the first two years of life and to improve the level of knowledge and awareness among Saudi caregivers.

Materials and methods: The study was cross-sectional and was conducted in general paediatric clinics and well-baby clinics, National Guard Hospital, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The data were collected over a period of 10 days. The questionnaires were self-administered by 350 Saudi caregiver participants of both genders of different ages. The caregivers survey included demographic characteristics and 20 questions covering the four domains of child development (sight, vocalization, social, brain and motor) and source of knowledge. Questionnaires were distributed using systematic random sampling.

Results: Our results found 84% of caregivers have poor knowledge about healthy child development. According to different domains, they did not know about vocalization (98.5%), sight (98.2%), social (97.1%), total motor (95.6%) and total cognitive and brain development (88.3%).

Conclusions: This study shows that there is a need to develop and deliver educational clinics and certification programmes for caregivers about healthy child development in the primary health centres. The data suggest a need to launch an awareness campaign distributing pamphlets in caregiver centres and in waiting areas in the clinics.

Acknowledgements: Dr Khamisa AlMokali for supervising this project.

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