REVIEW: Dr Dawn’s Guide To Toddler Health

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You’re probably as aware as I am that finding books about toddler health can be a bit of a minefield. In addition to there simply not being many books that focus on toddler health – yeah, telling me to use a forehead strip thermometer is all well and good but have you tried to hold a two year old down with a piece of plastic draped across the forehead? It’s not easy – the ones that do focus on it can come across as either overly patronising, or far too clinical and distant.

Step up, “Dr Dawn’s Guide to Toddler Health”. It’s like a more experienced mummy friend who’s been there and done that, giving you advice – but with the added benefit of knowing that she’s an actual doctor and a well-respected voice in the medical community.

It’s the sort of book you’d pick up off a shelf in Waterstones or your local library – not huge and imposing like those family medical books that pretty much every family seemed to have on their bookshelf in the 1990s, not dull and boring like someone’s just churning out healthcare guides for the sake of it – just from the spine and the front cover it looks manageable, colourful and approachable.

The introduction confirms that. Dr Dawn gives honest advice as a parent, rather than as a doctor, to write down the funny things your children say and do. As bloggers we take this for granted; our blogs serve as a live journal of all the things our kids get up to, but for many it’s easy to just let it pass by. That little nugget of wisdom at the start immediately made me feel at ease with the book – this isn’t just a doctor who knows what she’s talking about; she’s also a mum. She understands what a worrying minefield children’s health can be, and how tough it is to navigate. That much is clear throughout the entire book.

It’s not a book that you’d read once and then put down, never to be seen again. It’s a great addition to either your family bookshelf or your first aid cupboard (everyone has a first aid cupboard, right? I’m only just realising that a whole first aid cupboard might be weird). The chapters are concise and straight-to-the-point, easy to read and digest and refer back to when the need arises. Whether it’s teething or vaccinations or potty training, there’s information in this book.

One of the most handy parts is the A-Z of common childhood illnesses. From appendicitis to worms via croup, nappy rash and scarlet fever, ranging from those worrying little niggles to serious childhood diseases, there’s so much information – but it’s easy to understand, and written in a way that never condescends or patronises. When I was writing my book, my biggest concern was that it would come across as patronising. Dr Dawn has excelled with this guide; delivered in a manner closer to friendly neighbourhood GP (which is Dr Dawn’s profession, of course) than stuffy professor-written textbook.

There’s also the great guide to what you need in your toddler’s medicine cabinet (see, it’s not just me that dedicates an entire cupboard to medical supplies!) and basic first aid for toddlers (something everyone should at least know a little bit about).

Dr Dawn’s Guide To Toddler Health is a friendly, informative guide that will help to put parents’ minds at ease, while also enabling them to be vigilant for more serious illnesses – as well as talking them through the challenges toddlerhood brings (potty training, anyone?).

In short – a must-have for any parents’ bookshelf.

I was sent a copy of Dr Dawn’s Toddler Health Guide to review. All views are my own honest opinions. 

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