Reading aloud can relieve pain in children

Celebrate a birthday with Bobo Siebenschläfer or travel to Taka-Tuka land with Pippi Longstocking: Stories that children have read aloud in the intensive care unit can help them forget their worries and pain, at least for a while. A small US study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of 41 children between the ages of two and seven showed that reading aloud had measurable health effects. After the hour of reading, less cortisol (the so-called stress hormone) and an increase in oxytocin (the so-called cuddle hormone) were found in the saliva of the patients. Children in the control group were distracted from their complaints with puzzles and tasks. They also felt better afterwards - but the measurable effects were significantly higher in the reading group.

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