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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Apr 11, 2019


Kids whose parents read 5 books a day to them enter school with exposure to 1.4 million more words more than those children who parents did not read to them.  Even reading one book a day to your child will give them almost 300,000 more words as they begin kindergarten.

This data comes from Ohio State’s Center For Early Childhood Research and Policy.  With the info that board books contain about 140 words and picture books an average of 228 words, they calculated that kids never read to would be exposed to 4662 words, those read to 1-2 times a week 63,570 words, 3-5 times a week 169,520 words, one book a day 296,660 words, and 5 books a day 1,483,300 words.

The researchers emphasize that these extra words translate into faster development of better reading skills.  They also add that the words in books tend to be more complex than conversational words, especially since our society’s verbal discourse has begun to deteriorate into a chain of “likes” and run-on sentences.

Reading to your kids is not only good for their vocabulary, but the mommy or daddy and me time with books drives even better parent and child bonding.  By the way, a study just published from the University of Michigan concludes that reading from real books rather than from electronic devices is significantly more effective.

Jessica A. R. Logan, Laura M. Justice, Melike Yumuş, Leydi Johana Chaparro-Moreno. When Children Are Not Read to at Home. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000657

Tiffany G. Munzer, Alison L. Miller, Heidi M. Weeks, Niko Kaciroti, Jenny Radesky. Differences in Parent-Toddler Interactions With Electronic Versus Print Books. Pediatrics, 2019; e20182012 DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-2012

#Reading #vocabulary #parenting #education #headstart #earlychildhood