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Are you a worry wart?

Lisa Steinke, with Liz Fenton, is the co-author of the debut chick lit novel l'll Have Who She's Having and the popular Chick Lit blog chicklitisnotdead.com.

What your pediatrician really thinks

Admit it — you've asked your child's doctor a question you knew was crazy, but you just had to ask anyway. Well, you're not alone. You won't believe some of the ridiculous things parents have asked the doctor.
Worried mother

When Parents Worry is a hilarious collection of the most unbelievable inquiries pediatrician Dr. Henry Anderson has received over the years from freaked-out moms and dads.

To call or not to call?

Have you ever wanted to call your pediatrician about something you thought might be wrong with your child, but hesitated because you wondered if your concerns were too silly? In his book, When Parents Worry: The Real Calls Doctors Receive... from Moles That Seem to Move to Funny-Smelling Poos, Dr. Henry Anderson (a pseudonym to protect his clients' confidentiality) shares the wackiest messages from parents he's ever received.

And while he says you should always contact your doctor with any and all concerns you're having about your child, he admits that sometimes "any" and "all" includes some pretty funny stuff. "We make ourselves very available by phone so that you can ask us everything, big or small. Your pediatrician is your partner in raising your children, and we want to be there to help, even if your question is boxers versus briefs (both are fine)."

So has Dr. Anderson ever laughed when asked a question that he felt was ridiculous? "No. They should feel comfortable asking any question. You can only laugh if they're laughing as well. But you can laugh at almost anything a child tells you, because the parents will laugh too, and because children don't take themselves so seriously," says Anderson.

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About When Parents Worry

When Parents WorryWhen Parents Worry is filled with frantic messages from Mom and Dad that Dr. Anderson has been asked through the years. He picks his top three.

"A mom once came in with twins and stated one of them swallowed a coin, but she wasn't sure which one it was. We ended up X-raying both, and neither had swallowed one."

"One particularly wacky one was when a mom brought in her poodle and wanted us to examine her. We explained we were pediatricians, but she wouldn't take no for an answer. I wanted to tell her that the dog had a barking cough (ha!), but I don't think she would have found that funny."

"I will never forget the mom who wanted to email me a picture of her daughter's diarrhea so that I could tell her what was wrong," he says.

"It's hard to choose just three," adds Anderson.

If you're a worrier

So what should you do if you find yourself wanting to pick up the phone and call your child's pediatrician about every little thing? Dr. Anderson suggests, "First, take it slow. Children are very resilient, and your son or daughter is going to survive your being their parent.

"Second, if talking to your pediatrician about an issue will help you calm down, then please ask. Anything we can do to reassure you or to explain issues, we'll do. Third, it always pays to have a sense of humor. So when your child eats cheese from the mousetrap that you think the mouse has eaten from too, smile. It’s all going to work out."

5 Reasons to call the pediatrician >>

Image credit: When Parents Worry (Amazon Prime, $12) – F+W Media, On Sale Now

More pediatrician tips

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Finding a pediatrician for your internationally adopted child

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