If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay


Photo courtesy: Dr. Lara ZibnersPhoto courtesy: Dr. Lara Zibners

Photo courtesy Dr. Lara Zibners

So you’ve got a baby. Great! Now what? Unless you have the most healthy child in the world, inevitably something eventually will go wrong and you won’t always be sure what to do. There are very few books out there that will step you through different health or injury scenarios for your kids and tell you which ones are serious. If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay is one book that will truly help. This book is also very helpful with older children, or if you ever care for other children.

If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay: How to Know if Your Child’s Injury or Illness is Really an Emergency (phew! hereafter referred to as “this book”) was written by Lara Zibners, M.D. She is board certified in both general pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine. She is also an author (obviously) and a speaker. Visit her website to get additional information on her, or read her Q&A for additional advice. You can even follow her on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. She even includes photos of swaddlings gone wrong!

I wish that I had had this book when my kids were younger. I probably could have avoided a few doctor and emergency room visits.

This book has a very clear table of contents which is broken down into specific issues that your child may be having. There is even a handy guide in the introduction about what you should have in your medicine cabinet. Dr. Zibners also makes it clear from the start that if you’re ever unsure about what to do, you should take your kid to the doctor. In the first chapter, she starts off with the basics and the things that might be the most alarming for a newborn. She goes through the different body parts and systems, then through other categories like fever, bites and stings, household dangers and bumps and bruises. Near the end of the book, she addresses safety including accident and injury prevention. The very last chapter details what to expect if you do go to the emergency room. There is then a thorough index.

Dr. Zibners wrote the book with quite a bit of humor to keep things light. But the book is not so light as to distract or detract from the pertinent medical information contained therein. Dr. Zibners is a real pediatrician, but using humor can also help keep parents calm when their particular concern is nothing to worry about. Much of the book will make you giggle, and there is so much humor that I heartily laughed out loud about once every couple of pages. Not something I am prone to doing, usually.

This book is an enjoyable read, not just for when you have an ailing child, but also to learn about things that may come up later so that you can store that information away for future use. The book covers all the usual things, but the author has included quite a lot of things that I had no experience with or knowledge of. Having this book is like having your pediatrician’s nurse on your bookshelf. Truly. I’ve spoken to enough nurses to recognize much of the advice.

The book includes “911!” sections for anything that requires you to call an ambulance or visit the emergency room, and “Emergency!” sections for things about which you’ll want to contact the pediatrician right away.

Dr. Zibners reminds us of things we all should know, such as not to give kids under one year old honey (or corn syrup, apparently), because they could get botulism. She tells us a lot of things that your child’s own doctor will tell you, especially the “just keep an eye on it” kind of advice. She even has a whole chapter on fevers, broken down by what constitutes an emergency at each age range.

The book definitely seems geared toward issues with infants and young children, but much of it is also applicable to older kids. Some, such as injuries, allergies, cuts and household dangers, can be applicable to adults as well.

This book should be required reading for new parents and parents-to-be. Sections should also be re-read as new things come up with your children. But remember, as always, that if you think your child is in immediate danger (unconscious after a head injury, severed limb, etc.), go ahead and call 911.

Wired: Dr. Zibners writes with great humor, and covers a wide array of things that can arise when you have little ones. It contains a dizzying amount of valuable information.

Tired: I wish she’d made the 911! and Emergency! sections stand out more. They are in the same format and color as the little sidebar tidbits. A very few may find her style of humor off-putting.

Wish for a Future Printing: A handy reference guide in the front or back, perhaps one you could tear out, might be helpful for listing all the items that would necessitate an emergency room visit, complete with applicable page numbers from the book.

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