Objective Children are attracted to the internet early in life. Thus, violence and sex are easily offered and risk behaviours are often adopted by them. The aim of this study was to report the first results of a pilot study about the prevalence of internet use by Greek school-age children.
Methods 213 children (46% boys, mean age 12.3 years) from five primary and secondary public schools in Athens were given a typical anonymous questionnaire during school hours.
Results 69.4% children used the internet (89% at home), 25% of them everyday. The reasons for internet use were: 70% fun, 29% school study, 16.8% communication with friends, 11.4% curiosity and 3.3% news. Only 53.4% of parents regularly attended their children’s use of the internet. Of the children, 28.6% reported visiting an internet cafe (mean age 13 years), 87% knew that the internet had “bad sites” and 37.8% visited them at least once (mean age 12.5 years).
Conclusions Adolescents often use the internet, the main reason being entertainment and one third visited internet cafes. Parents’ supervision was inadequate and many children had the opportunity to visit “garbage sites”.