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"A comprehensive childcare guide as well as an encyclopedic guide to recognizing and solving health and behavior problems."
What distinguishes this child-care book from the many others in bookstores and on library shelves is that it has been developed and extensively reviewed by members of the American Academy of Pediatrics. A six-member editorial board developed the initial material with the assistance of more than seventy-five contributors and reviewers. The final draft was then reviewed by countless numbers of pediatricians. Because medical information on children's health is constantly changing, every effort has been made to ensure that this book contains the most up-to-date information available.
It is the Academy's hope that this book will become an invaluable resource and reference guide for parents. We believe it is the best source of information on matters of children's health and well-being. We are confident readers will find the book extremely valuable, and we encourage them to use this book in concert with the advice and counsel of their own pediatrician who will provide individual guidance and help on issues related to the health of their children.
Joe M. Sanders, Jr., M.D.
American Academy of Pediatrics
|Resources from the American Academy of Pediatrics|
|Introduction: The Gifts of Parenthood|
|1||Preparing for a New Baby||3|
|2||Birth and the First Moments After||23|
|3||Basic Infant Care||33|
|4||Feeding Your Baby: Breast and Bottle||67|
|5||Your Baby's First Days||111|
|6||The First Month||133|
|7||Age One Month Through Three Months||165|
|8||Age Four Months Through Seven Months||189|
|9||Age Eight Months Through Twelve Months||215|
|10||The Second Year||249|
|11||Age Two to Three Years||285|
|12||Age Three to Five Years||325|
|13||Keeping Your Child Safe||375|
|14||Part-time Care for Your Child||411|
|18||Chest and Lungs||507|
|20||Ears, Nose, and Throat||535|
|25||Head, Nervous System, Face, and Neck||597|
|30||Chronic Conditions and Diseases||647|
|Commonly Used Medications||658|
Here are some considerations to help you make your choice:
The Training of Pediatricians
Pediatricians are graduates of four-year medical schools with three additional years of residency training solely in pediatrics. Under supervised conditions, the pediatrician-in-training acquires the knowledge and skills necessary to treat a broad range of conditions, from the mildest childhood illnesses to the most serious diseases.
With the completion of residency training, the pediatrician is eligible to take a written examination given by the American Board of Pediatrics. If he or she passes this examination, a certificate is issued, which you will probably see on the pediatrician's office wall. If you see the initials FAAP after a pediatrician's name, it means he or she is a Fellow (member) of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Only Board-certified pediatricians can become members of this professional organization.
Following their residency, some pediatricians elect an additional one to three years of training in a subspecialty, such as neonatology (the care of sick and premature newborns) or pediatric cardiology (the diagnosis and treatment of heart problems in children). These pediatric subspecialists are generally called upon to consult with general pediatricians when a patient develops uncommon or special problems. If a subspecialist is ever needed to treat your child, your regular pediatrician will help you find the right one for your child's problem.
How to Find a Pediatrician for Your Baby
A good place to start looking for a pediatrician is by asking your obstetrician for referrals. He or she will know local pediatricians who are competent and respected within the medical community. Other parents also can recommend pediatricians who have successfully treated their children.
Once you have the names of several pediatricians you wish to consider, arrange a personal interview with each of them during the final months of your pregnancy. Most pediatricians routinely grant such preliminary interviews. Both parents should attend these meetings if possible, to be sure you both agree with the pediatrician's policies and philosophy about child rearing. Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask any questions. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Most hospitals ask for the name of your pediatrician when you're admitted to deliver your baby. The delivery nurse will then call that pediatrician or his associate on call as soon as your baby is born. If you had any complications during either pregnancy or the delivery, your baby should be examined at birth. Otherwise, the examination can take place anytime during the first twenty-four hours of life. Ask the pediatrician if you can be present during that initial examination. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about your baby and get answers to any questions you may have.
Pediatricians routinely examine newborns and talk with parents before the babies are discharged from the hospital. This lets the doctor identify any problems that may have arisen and also gives you a chance to ask questions that have occurred to you during your hospital stay, before you take the baby home. Your pediatrician will also let you know when to schedule the first office visit for your baby (as early as one day after discharge), and how he or she may be reached if a medical problem develops before then.
Many pediatricians have a specific call-in period each day when you can phone with questions. If members of the office staff routinely answer these calls, you should find out what their training is. Also ask your pediatrician for guidelines to help you determine which questions can be resolved with a phone call and which require an office visit.
Ask the pediatrician where to go if your child becomes seriously ill or is injured. If the hospital is a teaching hospital with interns and residents, find out who would actually care for your child if he was admitted.
Find out if the pediatrician takes her own emergency calls at night. If not, how are such calls handled? Also, ask if the pediatrician sees patients in the office after regular hours or if you must instead take your child to an emergency room. When possible, it's often easier and more efficient to see the doctor in her office, because hospitals frequently require lengthy paperwork and extended waits before your child receives attention. On the other hand, serious medical problems are usually better handled at the hospital, where staff and medical equipment are always available.
If your physician is in a group practice, it's wise to meet the other doctors, since they may treat your child in your pediatrician's absence. If your pediatrician practices alone, he probably will have an arrangement for coverage with other doctors in the community. Usually your pediatrician's answering service will automatically refer you to the doctor on call, but it's still a good idea to ask for the names and phone numbers of all the doctors who take these calls--just in case you have trouble getting through to your own physician.
If your child is seen by another doctor at night or on the weekend, you should check in by phone with your own pediatrician the next morning (or on Monday). Your doctor will probably already know what has taken place, but this phone call will give you a chance to bring him up to date and reassure yourself that everything is being handled as he would recommend.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends checkups by one month, and at two, four, six, nine, twelve, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty-four months, and annually after that. If the doctor routinely schedules examinations more or less frequently than this, discuss the difference with her.
Your pediatrician should have a standard fee structure for hospital and office visits as well as after-hours visits and home visits (if he makes them). Find out if the charges for routine visits include immunizations. If not, ask how much they will cost. Also, if you are covered by a managed-care system (HMO, etc.), check whether the pediatrician is on the panel of physicians.
After these interviews, you need to ask yourself if you are comfortable with the pediatrician's philosophy, policies, and practice. You must feel that you can trust him or her and that your questions will be answered and your concerns handled compassionately. You should also feel comfortable with the staff and the general atmosphere of the office.
Once your baby arrives, the most important "test" of the pediatrician you have selected is how he or she cares for your child and responds to your concerns. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the treatment you and your child are receiving, you should talk to the pediatrician directly about the problem. If the response does not address your concerns properly, or the problem simply cannot be resolved, don't hesitate to change physicians.
Excerpted from CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5, edited by Steven Patrick Shelov, M.D., and Robert E. Hannemann, M.D. Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Posted June 12, 2013
I LOVE this book! It's like a baby encyclopedia! It even has baby/child CPR, and a graph displaying what length and weight your baby should be by age. Absolutely amazing. Worth every cent. If there was ever an ACTUAL instruction manual for a child, this is definitely it! :)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.