‘Babies with Books’ program helping premature babies and their families
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Abrazo Arrowhead Campus Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is reading to babies all week long as part of their “Babies with Books” read-a-Thon.
The program is intended to benefit NICU infants and their families at the hospital, as well as raise awareness about the importance of reading as a family. Nurses have been handing out children’s books to families as part of NICU Awareness Month.
“This is one of the activities that we are participating in, as reading to babies promotes brain development and provides an important opportunity for families to bond with their babies,” said Ramya Kumar, developmental coordinator in Abrazo Arrowhead’s NICU. NICU babies are at severe risk of critical illnesses, hospitalizations, low economic status and other long-term emotional stressors, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Additionally, studies have shown that preterm infants not exposed to language while in NICU have lower language performance.
Reading to children helps their brains develop and build out their language centers, improves childhood literacy and much more. “These are especially important activities for babies with prolonged hospitalizations Anyone can read to the babies. This has engaged nursing students, medical team members, our rehab team and others to participate in the read-a-thon,” said Kumar. “The read-a-thon offers opportunities to participate in initiatives through the hospital’s clinical ladder and volunteer programs, and we have staff donating items to the NICU for future events.”
The read-a-thon is part of a voluntary international initiative, which you and learn more about on their website babieswithbooks.org.
For more information on Abrazo Arrowhead Campus, visit AbrazoHealth.com.
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