Keeping Your Child Healthy in a Germ-Filled World: A Guide for Parents

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JHU Press, Aug 31, 2011 - Health & Fitness - 272 pages
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The world is full of germs, and news about outbreaks of infectious diseases and antibiotic-resistant superbugs is an almost daily occurrence. What can concerned parents do to protect their children? Keeping Your Child Healthy in a Germ-Filled World gives parents the tools and information they need to shield their kids from infections and keep their family healthy.

Infections are harmful, but not all germs are bad. Dr. Athena P. Kourtis, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist -- and a mother -- teaches parents how to protect their kids without going overboard. She helps parents sort through the latest information about germs, antibiotics, vaccines, hygiene, health foods, and home remedies and recommends what rules to follow -- and which ones to ignore. She says:

No to overprotecting your children from germs• No to antimicrobial soaps and cleaning products at home• No to over-prescribed antibiotics• Yes to strategic hand washing• Yes to being conscious of germs and how they replicate• Yes to vaccines

She offers tips for protecting your children wherever they go -- at home or school, on the playground, even while traveling -- and whatever they are doing -- playing sports, camping, visiting the beach -- and answers questions that commonly worry parents. How many times should you wash prewashed spinach? (At least twice.) Does getting enough sleep help fight infection? (Yes.) Are pre-sliced foods more likely to spread infection? (They are.)

Reading this comprehensive, illustrated guide is the first step to keeping your family healthy. Up-to-date, accurate information and a clear understanding of how germs and our bodies work will help you and your child stay afloat in the microbial sea.


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An Introduction
Which Germs Where?
Our Defenses against Germs
Trustworthy Web Resources
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2011)

Athena P. Kourtis, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., is a nationally and internationally recognized pediatrician and infectious diseases specialist, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, where she has practiced, taught, and researched pediatric infections for the past fifteen years. Dr. Kourtis has written nearly 100 professional publications, books, and book chapters on infections in children and has won many awards for her work.

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