All you need is love, they tell us. But what’s love without health? Getting the most out of life (and love!) means staying well. Double that when it comes to our children. It’s no fun watching your child cope with a health issue — whether it’s as simple as your son struggling with the sniffles or as complex as your daughter entering puberty too soon (“Growing up too fast” ).
I’ve always been fascinated by medicine; I keep tabs on the latest research and pay close attention to health coverage in the media, whether the source is the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Office of the Surgeon General or, OK, Grey’s Anatomy. And I’ve watched trends evolve. When I was growing up, “clean your plate” was the common dinner-table mantra. Today, pediatrician Janice Woolley tells parents to take those cues from their kids: Our children let us know how much they should eat (“Picky eater in your house?”).
What else has changed in the health-care world? We no longer take anything at face value. We question decisions and second-guess policy, especially when it comes to our children (“The vaccine debate”). And we relish — no, insist upon — being well informed (“How to talk to the doc”).
The Internet has also transformed the way we navigate health matters. Who hasn’t looked up a symptom or two on the Web? Yes, we had child-care books Back Then that spelled out the difference between hives and diaper rash, but these days, parents greet their heath care professionals armed with questions and info — all gathered online (“Cybermedicine redefines health care”).
We’re proud of our newborn “Map” and hope you’ll gather resources and information in this special publication to help you and your family make smart, healthful decisions.
Here’s to your health!
—Linda Morgan, HealthMap editor