ISSN - 0973-0958

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How Do Young Children Spend Their Time? Television Viewing Habits in Children Younger than One Year and Parental Limits on Television Exposure within a Literacy Promotion Sample
Rosina Avila Connelly1, Teresa K. Duryea2, Xuan G. Tran3, Angelo P. Giardino3.
1Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama,
2Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas,
3Manager, Health Services Research and CME, Texas Children`s Health Plan, Houston, Texas.
Background: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises no television (TV) for children before 2 years of age. Despite pediatric providers providing anticipatory guidance about parent-child interaction in the first year of life, young children watch TV daily. While Hispanic children have been found to watch more television, other parental-related factors may affect their young children's television exposure.

Objectives: 1) Determine leisure activities including TV viewing habits of children younger than 1 year of age who attended a literacy promotion clinic. 2) Compare TV viewing to other infant leisure activities, including reading 3) Determine parental limits on TV exposure.

Methods: Cross-sectional study of data from a cohort study related to literacy promotion. Parents reported child's TV viewing habits, favorite TV shows, and their limits on TV exposure. Comparisons made between Hispanic and non-Hispanic children.

Results: A total of 252 children were selected for this analysis with mean age of 10.3 ± 1.5 months. Of these, 70 (52%) were male and 118 (47%) were Hispanic. One hundred fifty nine (63%) children watched TV daily with mean hours of 1.1 ± 2 per day with no differences between groups. Only 88 (35%) parents reported TV watching as a leisure activity; of these, 33 (37%) were Hispanic compared to 55 (63%) of non-Hispanic origin (p=0.03). A total of 151 (66%) of parents limited type of shows; only 93 (37%) had limited time, with no differences between groups.

Conclusions: Young children watched television daily. In our sample, ethnicity was associated with increased report of TV viewing as a leisure activity, but did not seem to have an association with time of exposure or parental limits on TV exposure.

Key words: children, Hispanic, television viewing, parental limits

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