Hoarseness in school-aged children may affect their educational achievement and interfere with their communication and social skills development. The global prevalence of hoarseness in school-aged children ranges between 6% and 23%. To the best of our knowledge, there is a scarcity of studies describing the prevalence or determinates of hoarseness in Saudi school-aged children. Our aim was to measure the prevalence of hoarseness among school-aged children and to identify its determinants. A cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey was used that included randomly selected primary and early childhood schools from private and governmental sectors in Saudi Arabia. The data were collected using a questionnaire which was self-completed by the children’s parents and covered the following aspects: sociodemographic features, health and its related comorbidities about children and their families, attendance and performance in school, child’s voice tone, past history of frequent crying during infancy, history of letter pronunciation problems and stuttering, the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and the Children’s Voice Handicap Index-10 for parents (CVHI-10-P). Determinants of hoarseness were investigated using the SPSS software (version 20). The mean age of the study children (n
= 428) was 9.05 years (SD = 2.15), and 69.40% of them were male. The rate of hoarseness in the participants was 7.5%. Hoarseness was significantly common in children with a history of excessive infancy crying (p
= 0.006), letter pronunciation issues (especially ‘R’ and ‘S’; p
= 0.003), and stuttering (p
= 0.004) and in those with a previous history of hoarseness (p
= 0.023). In addition, having the symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux increased the risk of hoarseness by four times (OR = 4.77, 95% CI = 2.171, 10.51). In summary, hoarseness in children may be dangerously underestimated, as it may reflect the presence of speech problems, in addition to the presence of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Hoarseness was assumed on the basis of parental complaints. Therefore, further research with diagnoses based on a clinical assessment is needed to understand the magnitude of the hoarseness problem and its consequences in children.
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