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Book Review: The Smart Parent's Guide


I consider myself a smart parent, but after reading, The Smart Parent'??s Guide to Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses and Accidents ($16), I've added a few parenting IQ points. This book gives information that we, as parents, need to know to make the right decisions for our children, whether during a routine exam or in a full-blown health crisis.

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The fact that 1 in 25 American children will be hospitalized, and 1 in 15 of those children will be injured by medical mistakes or adverse drug reactions is a statistic that alarmed me to keep reading for prevention tips.

Having never thought about what I would do (call 911, call an ambulance, go to the ED, call my pediatrician, call a specialist) or where I would go (ED, clinic, pediatrician office) if one of my kids busted their head open, I learned that I need to make those decisions now, before the emergency strikes.

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Dr. Jennifer Trachtenburg, MD, suggests that you make an emergency plan that includes six core questions to ask your child'??s doctor. She also gives the six commandments of emergency medical care and tips to navigate the Emergency Department (ED). Here are ten things I am going to do better:

  1. Get a first aid kit for my home
  2. Lock all cleaning supplies and medications
  3. Have my children'??s medical information (weight in kgs, allergies, illnesses, immunizations) available to take to the hospital for an emergency
  4. Always call my pediatrician before or enroute to the ED so they can notify them that we are coming
  5. Place a tooth (not baby) that has fallen out in milk until I get to a dentist
  6. Find the best pediatric hospital in my area (very important because most Emergency Departments are not equipped for children)
  7. Have my daughter wear a helmet on her scooter and bike
  8. Avoid over-the-counter drugs that promise multi-symptom relief
  9. Use honey to suppress a cough rather than a cough suppressant
  10. Look at the numbers on plastic bottles to check for BPA (5-4-2-1 are good, all the rest are bad)
  11. Avoid mixing acetametaphin and ibuprofen ( I know that I said 10 things, but this one I have done numerous times to bring down a fever and I need to stop)

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