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Revista CEFAC

On-line version ISSN 1982-0216


PIZZOL, Karina Eiras Dela Coleta et al. Prevalence of nonnutritive sucking habits and their relationship to age, gender and type of feeding in preschool children from Araraquara-Brazil. Rev. CEFAC [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.3, pp.506-515.  Epub Jan 09, 2012. ISSN 1982-0216.

PURPOSE: to evaluate the prevalence of nonnutritive sucking habits in preschool children from Araraquara-SP, seeking to better understand their characteristics, distribution and relation to breastfeeding. METHOD: application of a questionnaire sent to parents or guardians. The sample comprised 1371 children aged between 6 months and 5-year old, where 702 children (51.2%) had deleterious habits, from a total of 812 reported habits. RESULTS: the habits were more prevalent in women (55%) and aged between 6 months and 2 years. The most commonly found practice was sucking a pacifier (30%), followed by suction bottle (18.4%) and sucking (7.6%), there was no association between the type of habit and socioeconomic status. From the participating children, 1,239 (90.4%) were breastfed, and the length of breastfeeding was most prevalent between 6 months and 12 months (43%), not necessarily exclusive but for a period not less than the recommended by WHO. CONCLUSION: there was an association between duration of breastfeeding in the presence and type of habit, since children who received breastfeeding for a period exceeding 12 months tended not to develop harmful habits. The results show that the greater the duration of breastfeeding is, the lower becomes the prevalence of habits.

Keywords : Breastfeeding; Habits; Prevalence.

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