Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Parents Should Read to Kids Daily: Pediatrics Group

The practice should begin in infancy, American Academy of Pediatrics says, to prepare kids for school, life

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- All pediatricians should encourage parents to read out loud to their children every day, beginning in infancy, to promote literacy and strengthen family ties.

That clarion call comes in a new policy statement issued Tuesday by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Early Childhood.

The aim of the recommendation is to help parents "immunize their children against illiteracy," said statement author Dr. Pamela High, director of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., and a professor at Brown University.

In fact, literacy promotion should be part of residency training for any medical student entering pediatrics, the policy statement added.

"This is the first time the AAP has called out literacy promotion as being an essential component of primary care pediatric practice," High said. "Fewer than half of children are being read to every day by their families, and that number hasn't really changed since 2003. It's a public health message to parents of all income groups, that this early shared reading is both fun and rewarding."

The stakes are high. Every year, more than one of every three American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read, a disadvantage from which it is hard to recover, High noted.

Reading proficiency by the third grade turns out to be the most important predictor of whether children will graduate high school and be successful in their careers, she said. About two-thirds of children in the United States and about 80 percent of those below the poverty threshold fail to develop reading proficiency by the end of the third grade.

The policy statement asks pediatricians to counsel parents about "developmentally appropriate reading activities that are enjoyable for the child and the parents and offer language-rich exposure to books and pictures and the written word."

The statement will be published in the August print issue of Pediatrics.

Research has found that children who are read to by their parents have a leg up when it comes to literacy, High said. Reading can provide even infants with spoken words and sounds that form the basis of future language and literacy development.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd