Information about children's health is important for parents, teachers, and students in education and health-sciences programs. Children are not small adults. Diseases and drugs often affect them differently. A current, comprehensive resource dealing with pediatrics is a welcome addition to library collections.
The Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health, with articles by medical writers and health-care professionals and an editorial board of pediatricians with academic affiliations, has more than 600 alphabetically arranged, signed entries, ranging in length from 500 to 4,000 words. Half of the entries cover topics affecting children from conception through age 4, and the rest discuss topics affecting children from 5 to 18 years of age. These include diseases and disorders (Dyslexia, Mumps); developmental stages (Fine motor skills, Dental development); psychosocial issues (Gender constancy, Shyness); family life (^Allowance and money management, Family therapy); drugs (Acetaminophen, MMR vaccine); and medical procedures (Ear exam with an otoscope, Cerebrospinal fluid analysis). Articles on diseases and disorders include a definition, description, demographics, causes and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, prevention, and parental concerns. Entries for procedures cover the definition, purpose, description, risks, normal results, and parental concerns. Those covering drugs have the definition, description, general use, precautions, side effects, interactions, and parental concerns. Articles about development include a definition, description, and a discussion of common problems and parental concerns. All articles have colored boxes with definitions of key terms and resource lists. Color illustrations and photographs enhance the text. A glossary, appendixes with children's growth charts and information about pediatric medications, and an index complete the work. Each volume contains a complete list of entries and instructions for using the encyclopedia.