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Traditionally, medical textbooks have been organized by areas of specialty: infectious diseases,
cardiology, pulmonary medicine, and so on. Th is organizational strategy allows us convenient
access to information on diseases we have the need to learn more about. For the practicing
physician, however, this presentation has its limits; it is more useful when we know the
diagnosis than when we are faced with making one. Very few parents or children come to
us with a chief complaint of nephrosis, for instance, or of psoriasis. Rather, what we hear is
that “My son’s feet and face are swollen,” “My daughter has a rash,” or even “My child has
been struggling in school.”
Signs and Symptoms in Pediatrics is our eff ort to address the need of the pediatrician and
other primary care physicians for information organized to refl ect the way practice really
happens. Here you have access to a concise yet thorough discussion of each sign or symptom
that may be the chief complaint you are asked to address. Each chapter begins with con-
textual information on areas like pathophysiology and epidemiology and provides a guide
to the history, physical examination, and laboratory and imaging studies that generate an
appropriate diff erential diagnosis. Next are approaches to initial management and sugges-
tions about when to refer or admit.
You will notice too as you look over the table of contents that we take seriously the
responsibility of caring for children’s mental health as an integral part of pediatric practice.
Mental health symptoms may augur the emergence of a mental health problem or impair a
child’s functioning even in the absence of a diagnosable disorder, and they often complicate
acute and chronic medical conditions. Th ey may drive a child’s use of health services and
aff ect adherence to treatment. For these reasons, symptoms of emotional disturbance have
chapters alongside syncope and disruptive behavior gets the same attention as dizziness.
Not only are our authors expert physicians themselves, but each chapter has been critiqued
by members of the pertinent American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sections, committees,
and councils, providing an additional layer of expertise and supporting our eff ort to make
this reference evidence-based and as reliable as possible. Most also include a listing of help-
ful Tools for Practice, curated in partnership with Drs Rebecca Baum and Kelly Kelleher, as
well as a bibliography of the most relevant AAP policy. We hope you will nd this book a
robust and easily accessible tool in our shared mission of caring for the health of all children.
Henry M. Adam, MD, FAAP
Jane Meschan Foy, MD, FAAP
Preface
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