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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Mistakes parents make when helping toddlers with skills

In the age of e-books for toddlers and endless TV programs aimed at the nursery school set, children today become technologically savvy soon after they learn to walk. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for preschool-age children, said Hamilton-based occupational therapist Barbara Smith and author of “From Rattles to Writing,” but the best way to prepare children for reading and writing is to focus on playtime with blocks, puzzles, and, yes, old-fashioned paper books. Here are common mistakes Smith said parents often make.

1. Always putting babies on their backs. Yes, this is the safest position for sleeping, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, but babies need tummy time during the day to strengthen shoulders and arms.

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