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 e-books for young children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a study today suggesting that it may be time to put the screen down for reading.

Many families with children own some sort of digital device, using it for a variety of purposes.

"Tablets certainly had a place during the pandemic and virtual learning, so yes, there's a need to be able to use those," said Dr. Hailey Nelson with Valley Children's Healthcare.

However, when it comes to early childhood development, Dr. Nelson said, there's nothing better than a traditional print book.

"Books are magical! It's that time to sit down with your child. They're learning language. They're learning repetition. They're learning so many things," she said.

According to the complex care pediatrician, children interact more with an adult who's reading a book rather than scrolling on a screen.

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

Those interactions, she said, helps with language skills and social/emotional skills -- things some kids lack when reading isn't a daily activity.

"We see, for underserved children, there's a language gap just in starting school," she added.

According to the study, 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 adventures when you read!" Nelson exclaimed.

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