Parents should start reading to their children from infancy as means of propelling them towards literacy, says the US largest pediatric group.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued the directive as part of its new policy on Tuesday.
The measure, the group said, can enhance child development and prepare young minds for early language and reading ability.
“You’re not teaching a two-month-old how to read,” said Dr. Danette Glassy, a pediatrician near Seattle, Washington, who co-chairs the AAP’s Council on Early Childhood. “Your sitting down with them makes your baby smart and wise.”
“Even the most affluent family can be distracted from interacting with their baby,” Glassy said. “They can entertain their babies in non-human ways with all kinds of gadgets and gizmos that interfere with their development.”
Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician in Orangeburg, N.Y, said the reality of today’s world is that we are competing with portable digital media. So you really want to arm parents with tools and rationale behind it about why it is important to stick to the basics of things like books.
Glassy also said encouraging reading to children from infancy will help the organization’s 62,000 pediatricians promote an alternative way for families to pass time with young children.