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AAP Urges Pediatricians to Promote Literacy Development Beginning in Infancy — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
June 25, 2014

AAP Urges Pediatricians to Promote Literacy Development Beginning in Infancy

By Amy Orciari Herman

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM

Pediatricians should encourage early literacy development during well visits beginning in infancy and until at least kindergarten age, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Published in Pediatrics, the evidence-based statement advises pediatricians to:

  • Counsel parents that reading aloud with their young children on a daily basis can enhance their social and emotional development and help prepare them to learn early language and reading skills

  • Educate parents about developmentally appropriate, enjoyable reading activities for their children

  • Provide at-risk children (e.g., from low-income families) with "developmentally, culturally, and linguistically appropriate" books during well visits

  • Offer informational materials to parents to support literacy efforts, including information about programs at public libraries and the AAP's literacy toolkit

The AAP notes that the "Reach Out & Read" program, on which the above recommendations are based, has met with great success and has been adopted by over 5000 pediatric primary care practices.

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