UIHC Children’s Hospital promote reading to babies through Read-a-Thon

Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 6:00 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital is competing with around 200 facilities across the globe to spend the most time reading to babies in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit also known as a NICU.

The competition’s goal, according to the organizer’s website, is to encourage reading to babies in the NICU for its’ many benefits to patients and their families. UIHC said readied to babies strengthens neural connections, promotes social and language development and increases cognitive skills.

Marissa Johnson, who is a clinical practice leader at UIHC Children’s Hospital, said reading to babies in the NICU also promotes family bonding and importantly builds brain development. She also said parents are more likely to read to their baby after discharge, if it begins in the NICU.

“It just makes me so happy for the parents and to know we are making a difference in the parent’s and babies’ lives,” Johnson said.

The Children’s Hospital came in 21st place out of 120 NICUs that participated last year with 17,292 reading sessions.