October Medical Minute

October Medical Minute with ROR-KC Medical Director
Sallie Page-Goertz, MN, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC

Boo! Fall festivals, Halloween happenings, influenza vaccines for everybody 6 months and older…it’s hopefully a wonderful time of year for most. Every day in our clinics, providers are using the wonderful books provided with the help of our amazing donors, to encourage caregivers to read to their littles. Research has made it very clear that caring adults (and older siblings) being in conversation, reading, singing and playing with the youngest infants and children foster their language and vocabulary development.

An exciting new study published in Pediatrics reports that intensity of shared reading is associated with the risk of socio/emotional problems in preschoolers. Information was gathered on about 5700 young children; the majority were black and had public insurance. Social/emotional concerns were assessed by an Ages and Stages Questionnaire-Social/Emotional (ASQ:SE) completed by a child’s caregivers. Parents reported frequency of reading with their children prior to completing the ASQ:SE during primary care visits. Children with rare, shared reading had a higher risk of an abnormal ASQ:SE compared with those who experienced shared reading on most days. The journal editors conclude that “Reading promotion during primary care visits could support improved social-emotional development and related outcomes for young children.”

Isn’t it spooky that all of the providers at clinics participating in Reach Out and Read are doing just that!  Thank you to all who are helping us continue to promote early literacy skills, vocabulary building, and caregiver-child relationships – but also perhaps preventing social/emotional concerns down the road!

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