ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Common Sense Pediatrics

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

All parents hope to find a pediatrician who dispenses sound advice with common sense born of experience. In Common Sense Pediatrics, Franz shares what she’s learned in her twenty-three years of pediatric practice and her life as a mother of three.

The slim volume covers a broad range of topics, but is not a comprehensive treatment of all that parents can expect to experience while their children are young.

Franz covers the essentials that will be discussed in wellness visits from birth to age eighteen, telling parents what to expect at each stage of development.

About the eight- to ten-year-old visit, for example, she writes with parental wisdom, “Check the homework log. Smell their breath. You can see yesterday’s dirt on their ‘clean’ clothes. You know they started whatever conflict with the siblings. Be confident. Take no prisoners. Be clear with consequences. Follow through.”

Franz examines nineteen health issues, including asthma, migraines, insect bites, warts, and scars, perhaps chosen for the book because each has a natural, homeopathic, or herbal remedy such as craniosacral therapy for colic and a cream called Schmoove for eczema. She also discusses how “family impact” affects the symptoms.

In addition, Franz issues practical advice on finding a pediatrician and making the most of each doctor visit. She ends the book with a brief discussion of homeopathy, Chinese medicine, and some “nontraditional approaches” for autism and anorexia nervosa.

“There is no shortage of bad publicity about doctors these days,” she writes. “There is also a bit that is good. I thought it would be a good idea to give you some insight into the nuts and bolts of everyday life into a physician’s practice (okay, my practice).” She disabuses parents of the belief that “all doctors are rich” and gives a peek into the daily operation of a busy practice (okay, her practice).

Franz clearly intends the book to highlight her office procedures. Her discussion of immunization, for example, gives the Franz Center’s schedule and her personal approach to giving vaccines. She includes information about how her patients can reach her, how to make appointments, and how her practice handles insurance payments.

While there is information to be gleaned from Common Sense Pediatrics for parents who are interested in chiropractic, probiotics, dietary advice, and therapies such as Reiki and acupuncture, parents will need additional resources for more in-depth inquiry, or for information on topics not covered. Parents of the Franz Center practice will be best served by this book that clearly outlines their pediatrician’s view and approach to treating their children. If only all physicians had such a book to offer their patients.

Ruth Douillette