How Pediatricians and Health Care Professionals Can Help
At Regular and Other Checkups
“During the course of a day in a busy pediatrician’s office, I don’t think any of us does as well as we should. But promoting literacy should be a very big priority…. Every checkup should include some sort of developmental screening—even if informal, from observing how the child interacts with the parent in the room. If we can’t get what we need that way, we should ask questions directly. After every visit, the pediatrician should assure himself or herself that the child is up to snuff developmentally. That’s basic…. We have reading materials in every exam room—a bucket full of books to let families know that we believe reading is important. During checkups, I discuss literature with kids. I’ll ask what they’ve been reading and tell them some of my favorite books from childhood. Sometimes I prescribe books for kids to read.”
—Daniel Shapiro, M.D.
Silver Spring, Maryland