How to Raise a Healthy Child

Lendon H. Smith, Author
Lendon H. Smith, Author M. Evans and Company $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87131-798-8
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Known as the ""Tonight Show doctor,"" Smith (Feed Your Kids Right) has spent recent time off from Hollywood in intensive study with naturopathic physicians and chiropractors. In this tightly packed and extensively footnoted volume on raising healthy, resilient children, he issues the usual warnings associated with alternative medicine--about mercury fillings, fluoride, aspartame and pesticides. He discusses the perils of circumcision and immunization; the advantages of breastfeeding; the benefits of whole foods and plenty of vitamin C (magnesium, too, is a favorite supplement). Natural, homeopathic remedies that may be useful to parents willing to experiment (aconite or belladonna for ear infection, echinacea for a cold) are included, but readers may have to consult another source, such as a naturopathic physician, for details and dosages, which aren't always supplied here. In chapters organized along developmental lines and by system and symptom, Smith tends to ramble, occasionally lambasting the status quo, then lightening up (""some kids can sleep in the cat litter box and never get sick""). His conjecturing, references to obscure sources and parenthetical questioning are irksome, yet his eccentric voice also provides relief from those of the many experts who rarely stray off the beaten path. Smith's belief that no single type of healing can solve every problem and his exuberant sense of curiosity will appeal to readers confident enough to join in some medical bushwhacking. (Oct.)
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