A routine visit to the pediatrician with your baby typically comes with an update on your child’s growth progress and shots that leave them crying, but now there’s going to be additional advice to parents and caregivers concerning language and cognitive development.
Under new guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), parents and caregivers will also be advised to read aloud to infants and young children every day.
Much of a young child’s brain develops in the first three years of life, according to research. By reading and talking to your baby, it can help her develop early literacy skills needed for school.
This new guideline, which was issued today, is the first of the AAP to its 62,000 members. Doctors are now advised to include a component of early literacy to every primary care visit for babies and young children.
The policy statement also urged pediatricians to help provide books to needy families. Efforts are in place to team up with the Clinton Foundation’s Too Small to Fail program, book publisher Scholastics Inc., and a group called Reach Out and Read, to ensure needy families are also provided the resources – books – to read to young children.
Reading together should be a daily fun family activity from infancy, according to Dr. Pamela High, who wrote the new policy.
Activities like reading, talking and singing increases the number of words heard in the early years of a child’s life. It also fosters parent-child interactions while helping to develop early literacy skills needed in school.
The new guidelines come appropriately in time as we see more children depending on mobile devices and tablets for reading and entertainment. It’s a reminder that traditional books are just as important where there is a chance for young children to bond with parents and caregivers.
[Source: American Academy of Pediatrics]