Have you ever wondered whether your child’s symptoms were normal, something you could treat easily at home, or something that required medical attention? If you’re a parent, you’ve probably questioned symptoms more than once. I know I have.
With the internet so accessible nowadays it’s easy to look things up online, but it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish bonafide expert advice from the opinions of paranoid parents. Plus, there’s just something to be said for having a book right at your fingertips, with dozens of common children’s symptoms indexed for quick reference.
The Big Book of Symptoms: A-Z Guide to Your Child’s Health is such a book. It’s published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and edited by two pediatricians who are respected in their field. You can be fairly sure that the information you find inside is similar to what you would hear if you called up your family’s pediatrician.
The Big Book of Symptoms is divided into two parts – three chapters that include common childhood symptoms, divided into age categories (infants, babies & children, and teenagers), and two additional chapters on CPR, First Aid, and safety.
The information in the book covers a wide range of symptoms, including colic, fevers, jaundice, eating disorders, allergic reactions, and nosebleeds. The symptoms are arranged alphabetically within the proper age range, but are also searchable via the index. Each symptom includes a general overview, and additional pertinent information, followed by a chart covering Your Concerns, Possible Cause, and Action to Take. What I appreciate about the Action to Take column is that it’s straightforward and calm. A lot of the information you find online is so filled with emotion that it can strike fear in a mama’s heart over even the tamest of symptoms.
We have a cupboard to the left of our sink where we keep our oils, medicines, vitamins, and our other healthy family books. I’m going to be adding this book to that stash for easy reference next time we have a question about one of our kids’ symptoms. The Big Book of Symptoms also came with a pull-out chart of CPR and First Aid information, and I’m going to tape it onto the inside of the cupboard door.