Toddlers engage more with printed books than on tablets: study


"Once upon a time" can be better read on paper than on a screen.

A new study suggests that toddlers interact more with their parents when they read printed books over electronic versions. The results of the study were published today in the journal Pediatrics.

EBooks are selling well. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans reading ebooks rose from 17% to 28% between 2011 and 2014. Compared to printed books, they tend to be cheaper and save money. space.

But it's just not the same for small children, said the lead author of the study.

"The printed book is really the gold standard for creating positive interactions between parents and their children," said Dr. Tiffany Munzer at ABC News. She is a fellow in behavioral pediatrics for development at C.S. Mott Children's University Hospital in Michigan. "Our goal with some of the findings of the study is not to make things harder for parents, but to help them focus on activities that generate interactions with their children where they have the feeling that these exchanges are really easy. "

She estimates that 30% of children read eBooks at least once a week.

Dr. Munzer and her colleagues studied 37 couples of parents and their toddlers. Each couple was filmed in a lab reading three different stories from the Little Critter series. For each story, parents had a reading time limit of 5 minutes; the results could not be indexed to the time it took to present the story. There were a total of three book formats: an electronic tablet with enhanced visual and sound effects, an electronic tablet with no effects and a printed book with illustrations. The number and type of interactions shared by families – questions such as parents asking questions to toddlers, telling them what they see on the page, and encouraging them to post items at the narration then counted.

Parents were the ones who had the most heart to tell stories to their toddlers when they read printed books. They were also able to better understand the story in five minutes if it was read aloud from a printed book. Toddlers also made more statements with printed books, and nonverbal reconciliation was more important when printed books were read.

When parents read eBooks, they made more statements about the use of the tablet. for example, how to drag to the next page or where you want to press a button.

Why do printed books work better for toddlers than eBooks?

Dr. Munzer thinks the solution lies in the distractions inherent in eBooks, such as the buttons on which to press, and in the automated replacement of the variety of sounds and explanations that parents would otherwise provide.

"The printed book is a very beautiful object in that every parent and child interacts differently on a printed book," said Dr. Munzer. "Parents know their children well and have to make it live for their child to create that magic."

Dr. Leila Haghighat is a resident in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and also works with the ABC News Medical Unit.

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