Pediatric study suggests books are better than tablet for child reading

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — In this digital age, new research shows paper books are better than ebooks for young children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics today published a study that suggests it may be time to put the screen down to read.

Many families with children have some kind of digital device and use it for various purposes.

“Tablets certainly had a place during the pandemic and virtual learning, so yes, we should be able to use them,” said Dr Hailey Nelson of Valley Children’s Healthcare.

But when it comes to early childhood development, Dr. Nelson, there is nothing better than a traditional printed book.

“Books are magic! It’s time to sit down with your child. They learn language. They learn repetition. They learn so many things,” she said.

According to the pediatrician with complex care, children interact more with an adult reading a book than they do scrolling on a screen.

“As you scroll through the pictures, count how many apples are on the tree. What color is the car? Some of those interactive things with that page,” she said.

Those interactions, she said, help with language skills and social/emotional skills — things some kids miss when reading isn’t a daily activity.

“We see that for disadvantaged children there is a language gap when they go to school,” she added.

According to the research, toddlers spend an average of more than two hours a day on a digital device.

While technology can be exciting, Nelson says a paperback can be too, if not more.

“You go on an adventure when you read!” exclaimed Nelson.

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