Dear Parents: When to Call the Doctor for Your Infant or Toddler
Dr. Louis I. Cooper, MD
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If you find being a new parent sometimes confusing, you’re not alone. Finally, Dr. Louis I. Cooper’s
Dear Parents: When to Call the Doctor for Your Infant or Toddler is here to help. He shows you how to
keep your beloved child healthy and safe.
Louis I. Cooper, M.D., offers tips and advice based on his more than 35 years as a pediatrician. Essentially,
he wants you to have a good relationship with your child’s doctor. At times you must call a physician, says
Dr. Cooper, for situations like fevers, rashes, injuries, or unexplained illnesses.
But sometimes you just need someone to help you when you’re at home. Cooper gives easy-to-follow advice on important
topics you’ll encounter as a new parent. How do you stop a nosebleed? What is the safest sleeping position for a newborn?
Which thermometers and teething rings are dangerous? You’ll find the answers to these questions and more in this
Whether you are a new or experienced parent, you will get comfort and confidence from Dr. Cooper’s practical guidelines.
Most parents experience anxiety and fear when dealing with illness in their children. And these stresses
on new parents with an ill infant or child are greatly magnified when they are inexperienced and when
no extended family is around to give support and assistance.
There are basic ways to look at your child or infant with your doctor. And each child is different and
may show you symptoms that would ordinarily not be considered a reason for calling your physician.
Recognizing the early signs of illness will become second nature as your parental experience increases.
These indications are better understood with second, third, and subsequent children. The sooner that
uncertainties can be examined, the quicker the problem—if any—can be resolved.
Over the years, many parents have requested a catalog of symptoms to watch for. I never thought that
a list was the answer. After I give them basic information, I always invite parents to call if they have
any questions. Don’t rely on a list to decide if you should call your doctor. There are simply too many
possibilities to include everything in a list, and the one item of concern may not even be on the list!
This approach has worked well, giving calming reassurance to my patients and their families. They know
that their questions will be answered. This technique also allows parents to expand both their general
knowledge and their level of confidence about evaluating their child.