DOCTOR’S ORDERS: Book Encourages Healthy Habits

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Parents know it’s important for kids to go to the doctor to stay healthy. But, kids can often find it scary. A local mom found a creative way to make it easier.

Connor Cox tries to stay healthy. He says, "Because I don't like getting sick. It doesn't feel good when you throw up."

But, the 11-year-old has become a pro at going to the doctor. He says, "I can just put my hand right here, and I feel a thump and then you can feel something go this way."

He was born with a small hole in his heart. His mom says, "That was a really scary time for us because we didn't know if he would have to have surgery, or if he'd have to be on medications."

He's doing great now with no limitations. But, he continues to have follow-ups every other year. The situation inspired his mom, Stephanie Cox, to make visits easier for families. She happens to be a doctor at The Iowa Clinic. She says, "And it is scary. And, part of writing the book was to help parents feel more comfortable coming to the doctor too."

Dr. Cox started writing this book about 2 ½ years ago. It's called “My Doctor and Me ABC”. It's to help kids go to the doctor and be comfortable at the doctor's office. Dr. Cox says, "I thought it'd be an easy way to help them feel engaged at the office. Help them feel like they have a little understanding of what was going to happen and just make it fun, so they wouldn't worry about coming to the office every time."

Reading from the book, she says, "H is for heart pumping blood to your head and feet."

Each letter features a rhyme. She goes on to read, "D is for diagnosis, what's making you sick. With an exam and some tests, the doctor finds out quick."

Each rhyme explains a diagnosis, body part or healthy habit. She says, "E is for exercise, get an hour each day. Dance, join a team, or just get out and play."

Of course Connor's favorite letter comes at the end. He reads, “Z is for zero, the number of times we hope you are sick. But, when you don't feel well, come see us quick."

Dr. Cox says her best advice for parents taking their kids to the doctor is to make it a positive experience by saying it’s an important part of staying healthy.

“My Doctor and Me ABC” is available as an e-book from or You can also buy it at