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Healthy Steps for Young Children Program to focus on child and caregiver communication

A national initiative at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center is reinventing the way families communicate with their child’s health care provider.

DeAnn Davies, director of the new Healthy Steps for Young Children Program, said experts in child development and behavior specialists will now accompany pediatricians during regular appointments.

“All families have access to the health care specialists to ask as many questions about their child’s behavior and about their early learning during the first five years of life,” she said.

For example, the program looks at the question of technology in the home from a different perspective.

“We’ve always talked about what it means for children to have screen time and their brain development, now we talk about the parents using it and the impact that it has in an infant,” Davies said.

The key to a healthy connection between a child and the caregiver is to “create a dance with your child so you can connect in an emotional level,” she said.