September 07, 2011

When to call the dog

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Good parenting skills include keeping kids well and safe. This means knowing whether to treat something at home or call in the experts. But sometimes, we need an expert just to get us that far. My Child Is Sick! Expert Advice for Managing Common Illnesses and Injuries, by pediatrician Barton D. Schmitt, helps parents and caregivers identify symptoms of everyday childhood maladies. The book makes searching easy, with sections organized for specific body areas—for example, Eye, Ear, Nose, Mouth/Throat, Chest/Breathing—or for urgent problems like Bites/Stings and Fever. Within these sections, chapters address specific symptoms and situations, beginning with “Definitions” and “When to Call Your Doctor.” The “when” part is divided into levels from “call 911 now” down to “call your doctor during weekday office hours.” Thankfully, all information—including the detailed Home Care Advice—is presented in clear checklist style. Such visual organization will be a blessing to parents, especially for those unavoidable moments of panic in the middle of the night.

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