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Prescription to read

When it’s time for your child’s 6-month well visit, his pediatrician will tell you how much your little one has grown since the last visit. He will also need immunizations. And he definitely needs a book.

A book?  Absolutely.  At 6 months, you expect to hear that your child may roll over or sit up without support. Or turn toward a sound. What you might not expect is for the doctor to hand you a brand-new board book.

If babies can’t read, what’s the point?  Why is it so important to introduce books to children so young?

By reading to children at an early age, you stimulate their language and cognitive skills. Yes, even at 6 months old. You’re getting your child used to books. At 6 months, your child will probably put the book in her mouth. What better way to start to love books than by chewing on one? She’ll prefer pictures of faces and like to pat the pages.

These are fantastic moments for parents to hold their child in their lap and point and name pictures.  It’s also great snuggle time.  You’ll be amazed as she grows, just how quickly she will learn the names of things in her environment just because you pointed them out over and over in a book.

Pediatricians at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) offices, as well as our Locust Pediatric Care Group, give all patients a new, developmentally appropriate book at every well visit starting at 6 months all the way through 5 years of age. This is all part of the Reach Out and Read program.

Along with the book, you’ll receive advice and encouragement about reading aloud with your child. It has been proven that the more you speak to your child, the greater his vocabulary will be by the age of 3.

So what book will you be sharing with your little ones today?