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Screen Time Use Among Urban Children With Asthma

      Objective

      To describe screen time use and factors related to screen time among urban children with persistent asthma.

      Methods

      We analyzed data for 224 children (aged 3 to 10 years) with persistent asthma. Parents reported on children's asthma severity, screen time use, and family practices regarding screen time. We asked parents: “On weekdays [and weekends] on average, over a 24-hour period, how many hours of screen time does your child have?” Parents also reported activity limitation due to asthma, and activities their child engaged in during times of activity limitation.

      Results

      Most children were male (58%), black (65%), and had Medicaid (74%); average screen time was 3.4 hours per day. Most parents (74%) reported that their child had >2 hours of screen time per day, and one-third were concerned that their child had too much screen time. Many children (63%) engaged in screen time activities during activity limitation due to asthma. Children who needed to slow down or stop normal activity due to asthma had more screen time compared with children who didn't need to slow down (3.51 hours vs 2.44 hours, P = .02). Additionally, children who engaged in screen time activities during times of physical limitation had more screen time compared with children who engaged in other activities (3.67 hours vs 2.99 hours, P = .01).

      Conclusions

      We found that urban children with asthma, particularly those with activity limitation, have excessive use of screen time. Strategies are needed to avoid activity limitation by improving asthma care and to empower families with alternative strategies to avoid excess screen time.

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