September 1983

A Parent's Guide to Childhood Symptoms

Author Affiliations

5628 State University Hospital 750 E Adams St Syracuse, NY 13210


by Richard Martin, 390 pp, 10 illus, $14.95, New York, St Martin's Press, 1982.

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(9):924-925. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140350096035

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The era of self-help and consumerism have come together in recent years, and a number of books have been written in an attempt to demystify health and disease. Martin begins this effort with a disclaimer that this book is not meant to replace regular medical care, but rather to supplement it.

The concept is good, and the attempt is a noble one, but it falls short rather quickly. Some books have presented this material in the do-it-yourself style of the late 1960s with lots of simple diagrams. Others have tried the encyclopedic approach. This particular book is, in some ways, a mixture of both approaches but, it does not quite match up to either.

There are a few diagrams in the first two chapters that actually add little, and one that demonstrates removal of a foreign body from the eye is totally irrelevant to the text (p 8).

The tone