‘Nothing Short of Remarkable’: Study Finds Parents’ Chats With Their Toddlers Pay Off 10 Years Later

You wouldn’t think a study would be necessary to figure out that children want to communicate with you as soon as they’re able to make eye contact, but researchers have determined that early communication is not only something they want, but that your listening and chatting with them helps instill better language skills and higher IQs in them 10 years down the road.

CBS Canada said researchers analyzed more than 9,000 hours of transcribed daylong recordings from 146 Denver-area children ages 2 months to 4 years with their parents. They followed up with language and cognitive skills tests 10 years later, finding that the skills instilled by simply communicating with toddlers were “nothing short of remarkable.”

We’ve known for quite some time that reading aloud to children from an early age activates brain areas linked to visual imagery, and to understanding the meaning of language. We also know that this helps them grow into being more frequent readers themselves — something that’s critically important in this day and age of electronic media, when even schools are encouraging students to abandon books and rely on digital learning tools instead.

But while we’re on the topic of helping children’s brains develop, it’s hard not to comment on recent findings that IQs, which had been rising for decades through the 20th century, are now on the decline. And, studies are showing that this nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with the environment.

That environment includes many things, from changes in nutrition to exposure to environmental toxins like flame retardants, to the fluoride that’s being added to many communities’ drinking water. And when it comes to fluoride, if you need “higher level” proof that it’s destroying our children’s brains, you need look no further than Harvard University, where in 2012 researchers revealed that children living in high-fluoride areas had lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas, and suggested that fluoride exposure may have an adverse effect on children’s neurodevelopment.

Likewise, a long-term study sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found a correlation between fluoride exposure in utero and subsequent reductions in cognitive function of a child. Specifically, each 0.5 mg/L increase in fluoride over 0.8 mg/L in the mother's urine was associated with a 2.5-point reduction in IQ and a 3.15-point reduction in general cognitive index (GCI) scores in the child.

There are other studies, plenty of them, that point to the same evidence — that fluoride not only doesn’t belong in a child’s body, but that it’s literally destroying your child’s cognitive abilities. You would think that as more and more of these studies have come out that it would have spelled the end of water fluoridation.

But it hasn’t. So, once again, I ask you to think about demanding that your water supplier not add fluoride to the water. And, in the meantime, always be sure to filter your water with an effective system that can clean it out for you.

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