Baby Health and Safety Article

Your Baby’s Health










When it comes to your baby's health, always err on the side of calling the doctor too often, rather than not enough. Get to know your baby's doctor by going to his well-baby checks. Go with mom or take turns with her.

Don't give your baby any medicine without checking first. A small dose of an adult pain reliever or decongestant may seem reasonable, but babies present special issues that you are unlikely to be aware of. Better to be safe than sorry.

Keep Your Resources Handy
In addition to keeping the doctor's number readily available (next to the phone), essential resources to keep on hand include:

Nurse Hot Line
Experienced pediatric nurses are readily available 24 hours a day by phone and will spend all the time you need talking about any issue related to your baby's health. They will also tell you if you need to contact your doctor. Find out which hotline your doctor recommends.

Emergency Phone Numbers
This includes the local hospital's emergency room, your regional poison center, a neighbor you can rely on, etc.

Medical Guide
They are thick with useful information. Get one and skim it to get a feel for how you can use it. Popular ones include:

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics Guide to Your Child's Symptoms, by Donald Schiff, MD and Steven P. Shelov, MD (1997)
  • American Medical Association Family Medical Guide, 4th Edition by American Medical Association (August 20, 2004)
  • Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, Third Edition by Mayo Clinic (May 1, 2003)

First Aid Kit & Guide
When you need a bandage, antiseptic, or cream for a minor burn, you need it readily available, so keep a well stocked kit handy. Take a first aid class also and your family will have a dad who knows what he is doing in an emergency.

A comprehensive family first aid guide is also prudent to have on hand. Check out how to handle emergencies at the Red Cross website: www.redcross.org.

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