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How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor
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How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  849 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, renowned pediatrician and author advises parents on home treatment and diagnosis of colds and flus, childhood illnesses, vision and hearing problems, allergies, and more. PLUS, a complete section on picking the right doctor for your child, step-by-step instructions for knowing when to call a doctor, and much more.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 1987 by Ballantine Books (first published 1984)
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Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My grandfather was an MD. He gave this book to my mother when I was born. He said the medical industry was headed in a bad direction and to never trust doctors who went to medical school after the late 70's.

I read this book to my seven year old recently to inoculate him against the bad propaganda he will get on television and from the rest of our medical intervention-obsessed society. I couldn't be happier with this decision.

My son says, "This book is five stars. It's very interesting. And very
Jan 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
The title of this book seemed suspiciously familiar, when I read it in my syllabus. As I started reading I realized it is one of the many books my Mother-in-Law lent me as a young mother over 25 years ago. When I started out, I took #1 to the doctor constantly with ear infections and other illnesses. By the age of three, she was totally immune to antibiotics and still sick. I was at a loss. With the help of a few naturally minded friends and my MIL, I adopted Dr. Mendelsohn's attitude that the b ...more
Aug 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents
This book is a good reference manual for parents who want to take a proactive approach to their children's health. The author, a pediatrician, discusses everything from accidents to ear infections to antibiotics.

A few words of caution, before I praise what is good:

1. This book is old. It is, therefore, rather outdated on some subjects, including vaccinations (which he calls 'immunizations'). The DTP is no longer used in the US, we have new vaccines (Hib, Prevnar, varicella...), etc. However, th
Jennifer Margulis
Nov 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't know what compelled me to re-read this book from cover to cover in the last few days (besides insomnia and needing a break from Vanity Fair), but I'm glad I did. I read it for the first time 14 years ago when my daughter was only six months old. Dr. Mendelsohn's fearlessness, honesty, bluntness, and smarts empowered me back then to take charge of my family's health. I took a healthy baby to the pediatrician, was made to wait almost an hour, and then was told she had an ear infection (she ...more
Rose Voltaire
I had the excellent good fortune to see and meet Dr. Robert Mendelsohn many times in the early and mid-1980s. I read this book when it was 1st pub'd, and I bought several copies, had them autographed and gave them as gifts at baby showers.

The chapter re: treating childhood diseases that are believed to be treated by vaccinations is very responsible. Parents need to know if they DO NOT vax their children, recognizing and treating a disease as measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, diphtheria, pertu
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
I bought this book after having my first child-- 9 years ago! (5 kids later.... this book has been well-used! LOL) I think this book offers parents peace of mind! I have pulled it off my bookshelf many times to “re-remind" myself about certain things. =) When my accident-prone son ran into the wall and got a big old goose-egg on his forehead, and I was wondering if that was cause enough to run to the doctor... or when my daughters complain of growing pains or tummy aches... and I wonder if I nee ...more
Mar 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: parenting
I loved this book. I've been wanting to read it for years and finally ordered it and read it within a few days of receiving it. It is very readable and understandable.

I really loved Dr. Mendelson's candor about the medical profession, pediatrics especially. He cleared up some questions I had about vaccines and childhood illnesses and had some super great information on things like strep throat and ear infections.

It was written in 1984 and I wondered how "dated" it would feel and I think that a
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
Okay, so I don't have any children. I read medical records all day and have noticed an increase over the years in testing and surgeries that in the past have not been warranted. This book talks about the medical profession (pediatrics specifically but could apply to other specialties as well) and what really is the driving force behind medications and all those tests - essentially the bottome line is $$. Interesting read. Since I already limit my interaction with the medical community (yes I hav ...more
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, parenting
The original doctor-complains-about-mainstream-medicine book for me. He's quite a character. He even advocates the old fashioned spoonful of brandy for kids with a cold. But the premise that we turn to medicine too often and can take care of much of our family's health on our own, with simple remedies, and that often doctors make things worse, is very much true. In my opinion. ;) ...more
Nicole Fisk
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every parent should read this book! It’s amazing (and sad) how little has changed in 35 years-it’s still VERY relevant and useful.
Dec 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If you are interested at all in being the one responsible for our childrens health this is a must for your resources!!!!! When everyone's telling you fear based opinion it's always so refreshing to read the truth and get the facts.
"He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind."
Mar 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Interesting book...unfortunately a little outdated, but I found his philosophy and insights very helpful.

This book was written in the early 80's, and one thing I found fascinating was how many of the things concerning pediatric care, which he warned about then, have come true. We now have an enormous vaccine schedule, our children are handed several prescriptions each visit we make, and our role as parents (as knowing what is best for our children) has been replaced by legislation and laws, etc.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this upon becoming a new mother. Eventually I loaned out my copy, bought another copy & gave that away, and now have a new copy to keep on my shelf...and my child is nearly grown!
I can never thank Dr. Mendelsohn enough for helping me deal with the many issues that arose, in a calm & competant manner. Through the colic, scary high fevers, unrelenting diarrhea, gushing head wounds, broken fingers, allergies & worry, worry, worry...I had Dr. Mendelsohn & Susan Weed to provide me with the kin
Jan 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Some of the information is a little outdated, but it is refreshing to hear a pediatrician talk about using common sense and letting nature take its course instead of constantly prescribing medications. He presents information in an easy to read manner and is comfortingly non-alarmist when it comes to most ailments and injuries. I especially like the "quick reference guides" at the end of each chapter, which allow you to find answers quickly when dealing with a situation. Though most of the infor ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I sincerely wish I'd known about this book when I was expecting my children back in the 90s.

Fortunately, my son was spared the brutality of circumcision, but I made many other decisions about him and my daughter that I wish I could change; decisions that were based solely on full faith in doctors, thinking - erroneously - that they always know best. How foolish of me.

*Some* of the information in this book is a bit outdated (it was printed in the 80s, and the author died not long afterwards) - H
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: junk
Well, doctors are incompetents like the mechanics, cooks or any other skill based on diplomas, licenses and overall rote learning. That is what I thought Mendelsohn got. Instead I get the brain farts of an old man lamenting the good old times when pigs were aces fighter pilots or something. An ignorant propagating the need to put the blame on the sins of the mother. One gets comforting useless information like 'proper nutrition'. Wow! What is that? It is whatever latest diet fad you might be on. ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved the idea of this and I am buying a hard copy because I want to have it around to be reminded.
Having said that, I just managed to keep my sick child with fever for about five hours and then I caved in and gave him paracetamol (which is ok even according to dr. Mendelsohn if we really really feel like we have to do something)
All his advice totally makes sense to me - and yet, somehow, when it comes to our own children, so hard to follow.
Must practice.

Although - I really wouldn't d
Oct 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I learned:
*that fevers serve a purpose and that making it go away can make matters worse.
*that you shouldn't go to the Dr. for every little sniffle and why
*That many procedures done to children are unnecessary at best and are often harmful or worse.
*that there are in fact times when going to the DR. is necessary and how to make that distinction.

I review specific areas when I have questions. It has become a great resource for me as a parent
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
Great book, even if many descriptions of doctor's behaviours apply more to the USA where overconsumption of drugs and people being just considered as products more common than here in Europe.

It helps a lot to put into perspective when the child suffers some ailments tough, and to stay relax & zen when those happen, knowing at the same time the important things to notice and when a visit to a professional is advised.
Chrissy Daly
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books

Very practical point of view in all ailments of children's health. Some of his views are a bit extreme and out dated but the base of his message is solid and admirable. You as a parent can make better decisions for you child's health than you doctor sometimes. He is trying to Put the power and confidence back in the hands of parents. Definitely recommend it to have on hand at least for reference.
Mar 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved it! I'm still reading bits of it but he makes a lot of valid points that you'd probably never hear otherwise. Its nice to hear a different point of view that actually matches what I learned in school.. lowest intervention first. I took it with a grain of salt as he IS critiquing his profession.. and it is an oldie, he's prescribing drops of whiskey to help get your babe to sleep and it was on the eve of the launch of the varicella vaccine.. but I love it! ...more
Kerissa Taylor
Jan 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was one of my required readings for school and I enjoyed it. A lot of information coming from a former tip pediatrician in his day. It was when he began teaching medicine that he started to question what it was he was actually teaching compared to reality adn what is best for our bodies namely children.

He can come across strong and a bit negative, but his information is extremely important and useful.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Awesome book, though I really wish I had an updated version. I love his slant toward not using medicine unless it's REALLY needed, and trying other things (like rest and good nutrition!) first. But I don't feel confident following all his advice without seeing what the literature says now, just because this book is so old. ...more
Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really appreciated the info in this book about how to handle most basic childhood illnesses but also how to tell when it really is serious and medical care is needed. It definitely comes from the perspective of natural health care, recommends against immunizing in most cases, etc. Right up my alley for the most part but I did find it to be a bit dated and a tad reactionary on a few topics.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about how to deal with common kid health issues. There are a few things that I disagreed with such as giving kids alcohol and avoiding all vaccines... BUT even though it may seem a little out dated it is a great book, with lots of good advice that doctors don't always willingly give out. I think it can save us all a lot of worry and money if we read this book. ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. It's written by a doctor. It's not anti-doctor, even though the title gives that impression. This is a great book for a new parent trying to figure out when to go to the doctor and when to take care of things at home. Basically, there's a lot we should be more self-reliant about. I loved this book. ...more
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents
This book is a great reference for any parent who doesn't want to over medicate their child. There are honest descriptions of how to react and treat a fever (which the author says mostly is done for the peace of mind of the parent) to how to treat whooping cough. ...more
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Doctors are not god. This book does a terrific job of reassuring parents that they (SHOULD) know their children at least as well as any medical professional. Love this book. I think it's out of print. It's on my list of books to buy, someday when I have money! ...more
Nov 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
For any parent who is interested in an alternative and natural way to raise their child. This doctor opens up your eyes to how the medical field can sometimes push parental instinctive wisdom aside for the more modern but not always right way of medically treating children.
May 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: MOTHERS!
This book made me realize that I must be an advocate for my children's health, and that running to the doctor for everything was the worst thing to do. ...more
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