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Book Reviews and Other Media
September 2006

Immunizations & Infectious Diseases: An Informed Parent’s Guide

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160(9):986. doi:10.1001/archpedi.160.9.986

This book contains information about things that I as a parent might wish were true but aren’t, like antibacterial soaps (herein debunked) and the BRAT diet, in which bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast are supposed to help a nauseous child.

Then there are the facts I wish were not true but are: children are supposed to wash their hands after every time they touch a pet. They are never ever to be left alone with animals. And you don't want rodents, or their traces, anywhere near you. Baby turtles or (gasp!) cookie dough or sprouts, either. The last bit of bad news: if it involves making a mess, as do most verbs of childhood, you must wash your hands afterward. So, unfortunately, since the cover price does not include a full-time governess, I must resign myself to the nagging knowledge that my children are at constant risk. They will have to develop any obsessive-compulsive handwashing disorder on their own. I will scrub them whenever I can, short of making myself crazy. But the good news is many of the infectious diseases described in detail in this new volume can be prevented by frequent applications of soap and water.

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