Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Debra A Tristram, BS, MD (East Carolina University)
Description: This pocket-sized reference is packed with information on the recognition and control of infectious diseases in the child care setting. This edition replaces the 4th edition published in 1999.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a current and easy to read guide to infections and infection control practices for the child care setting. In an era where increasing numbers of small children are placed in a day care setting for all or part of their preschool years, prevention and control of infectious disease is of major importance. The editor clearly recognizes the need for concise information on these issues and meets the objective well with the help of her authors.
Audience: The target audience is child care workers, pediatricians, family practitioners, and public health workers. It is written in clear language that can also be understood by parents and other lay people caring for young children. The editor has extensive experience in infectious disease practice and has published over 50 articles on infectious agents in pediatrics and infection control in both the hospital and the ambulatory settings. She has assembled the expertise from notable infectious disease specialists throughout the country. They are all well-known in their respective fields of interest and many are active in planning policies and guidelines for the AAP, ACIP, and CDC regarding the issues covered here.
Features: This book provides up-to-date information on the epidemiology, transmission, and control of infectious agents in a child care setting. The format allows quick reference to a desired pathogen and a specific facet of that pathogen. There are short paragraphs of information that could be given to parents regarding the more common infectious agents encountered in a day care setting. The guidelines for personnel and attendees have useful and easy to follow charts regarding immunizations and common signs and symptoms of infectious disease with mode of transmission and the length of exclusion necessary after infection. Chapters dealing with young infants and children with special needs in a day care setting (e.g., children with immunodeficiencies or disabilities, foreign-born children) round out this useful book. For its scope and intended audience, I can find no glaring shortcomings. It would be useful to include color pictures (e.g., rashes, nits) but this would only enhance an already complete book and would likely increase the cost significantly, perhaps prohibitively!
Assessment: This is a well-conceived and executed manual on infection control in a child care setting. There are several excellent books that deal with infection control issues, either specifically or as part of a larger text, but there are few that occupy the specific niche that this book fills. Two that compare are the familiar Red Book: Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 25th edition (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000), with its sections on infection control for each pathogen, and Control of Communicable Diseases Manual, 17th edition (American Public Health Association, 2000). Both of these latter texts focus more on recognition and management in conjunction with infection control, while this book deals specifically with infection and infection control issues in the day care setting. I feel this book compares very favorably with these other two books for that purpose and is reasonably priced. I found it very useful as a quick reference and would recommend it highly for its target audience.