Friday, 6 December 2013

Book Review: The A to Z of Children's Health

On sale at Indigo for $17.52
Yes, you may well wonder why I would review this, since my children are 28, 30 and 34 years old! I get many requests for book reviews and since I am tutoring pregnant teenaged girls, I thought it might be a good reference book for them.
Image from the book: courtesy
Kveta/ /

The text is a robust one (over 400 pages), with various highly illustrative photos. The photos really are exceptional, illustrating such issues as diaper rash, otitis media, ear aches, headaches, conjunctivitis, and other physical issues. They provide diagrams (i.e., ankle injuries) for the how-to pages on topics that require more explanation or information on bones and ligaments. Also, there are How-to pages with photos: 'How to administer an Epipen injection' for anaphylactic allergies, for example. This is something I had to learn as a teacher. I had one gr. 6 class with TWO children who required Epipens. This was a good review for me.
This is what measles
can look like!

The topics are alphabetical, and easily found through both the table of contents and the index at the back. The topics include social, emotional, and physical issues. For those who are not highly literate, it looks like an excellent resource book, as well. They teach appropriate terminology, in plain language, which makes us better able to converse about health issues intelligently.

It is written by reputable authors: all nurses and doctors with extensive experience in pediatric care. The publication date is 2013, and the publisher is The Hospital For Sick Children (AKA Sick Kids, resource page of information).

Target Audience

Boys growth birth - age 2 (PDF)
The target audience would be wide, in my opinion. Not only new parents, but students, such as social workers, ECEs, teahcers, who might have simple questions (i.e., FAQs) about what is normal or not in child development. These professionals are the first to provide early identification of health issues. One example is new baby stool. Hospitals tend to discharge patients quite soon. The book has photos to explain new baby meconium, as well as normal breast fed baby stool, for example.

The book also deals with developmental delays, which can be a clue that a baby and family needs support. Now, I loathe books that send you to a webpage that may or may not be active at the time you access the book. They do provide one most interesting link to, Canadian growth charts that are gender and age-specific, but include the charts in the book (p. 339 - 344). Many worry that their child isn't growing properly. This shows the wide range in 'normal' for children.
In hard copy! (This is crucial in Failure to Thrive issues in at-risk families.)

Finally, the books are also offered in an international edition. Well done, Sick Kids!


World Health Organization (WHO) has available a comprehensive training program which includes counseling guidance for follow up on the diagnosis of obesity/overweight. There are also resources available for health professionals and for parents that have been developed specifically to support the implementation of the WHO Growth Charts Adapted for Canada.

Kramer, M. S., R. W. Platt, et al. (2001). "A new and improved population-based
Canadian reference for birth weight for gestational age." Pediatrics 108(2): 1-7.

Mei, Z., C. OGDEN, et al. (2008). "Comparison of the Prevalence of Shortness,
Underweight, and Overweight among US Children Aged 0 to 59 Months by Using the
CDC 2000 and the WHO 2006 Growth Charts." J Pediatrics 58: 622-8.

Olsen, E. (2006). "Failure to Thrive: still a problem of definition." Clin Pediatr 45: 1-6.

Olsen, E. M., J. Petersen, et al. (2007). "Failure to thrive: the prevalence and concurrence of anthropometric criteria in a general infant population. Arch Dis Child 92(2): 109-114.

Phillips, S., A. Edlbeck, et al. (2007). "Ideal body weight in children." Nutr Clin Prac 22: 240-5.

WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group. WHO Child Growth Standards: Head circumference-for-age, arm circumference-for-age, triceps skinfold-for-age and subscapular skinfold-for-age: Methods and development. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2007 (217 pages).

Birth weight and full-term

The WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS) defined full-term infants as having gestational age ≥ 37 completed weeks and < 42 completed weeks. Term low-birth weight (<2500 g) infants (2.3% of the sample) were not excluded. Infants born at very low birth weight (VLBW, < 1500 g) were excluded. The mean birth-weight (genders combined) in the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study was 3.3 ± 0.5 kg, ranging from 3.1 kg in India to 3.6 kg in the United States and Norway. In a 2001 paper reporting national birth weights of Canadian male and female singleton births between 1994 and 1996, (Kramer, Platt et al. 2001) the mean birth-weight for full-term infants was 3.56 kg.

1 comment:

lindaakacraftygardener said...

That looks like a great book for about to be parents, new parents, and even grandparents.