One In Eight Parents Looks For Child-Based Medical Advice Online

According to researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, one in eight parents will go online in search of medical...
According to researchers from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, one in eight parents will go online in search of medical advice for their child, before heading to the ER. medical advice, child health, when to go to ER, when to call the doctor, sick child, best medical website Is this wise? That depends. If your child is having a medical emergency, then no. Wasting time searching online for medical advice is a huge mistake if your child is in need of emergency attention. Now, if your child is simply sick or has a cut, it might be okay. However, there's a ton of poor health information out there, and if you choose the wrong website you may get bad advice, and your child may suffer because of it. For example, during this new study about parents, the researchers found that most check websites such as WebMD and Wikipedia, instead of more reputable sites such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, run by the government, or the American Academy of Pediatrics' Healthy Children website. Some websites, like Wikipedia are not run by medical organizations, and any individual may get online and add information to Wiki. Meaning, you're getting medical advice, not from doctors or researchers but who-knows-who. A better plan: I suggest calling your doctor's office directly or your pediatrician's advice nurse instead of searching online for medical information. Almost all clinics now offer advice nurses 24/7. A good advice nurse can evaluate your situation, then tell you if you need to come to the doctor's office as soon as possible, make an appointment for later or head straight to the ER. If you do feel the need to search online for information, look for a reputable medical website vs. a medical advice site written by just anyone. Red flags to watch out for: If a "medical" website has any of the features below, it's most likely not a reputable website.
  • Marketing - "commercial talk": Real medical organizations and health professionals never use terms like, “Outstanding miracle cure!” or “Best treatment EVER!” or “Try this pill today for amazing results!”
  • Flashy ads: Real medical websites almost never feature advertising; especially flashy, brilliantly colored advertising.
  • Zero research: Real medical websites offer information and the research to back it up. Statements such as,“90% of people experience relief with this treatment” need to be backed up with medical facts, and linked to a study or research.
  • Pop-ups: An honest to goodness medical website won't bombard you with tons of ad-like pop-ups or quizzes.
  • No 'About Us' section: A reputable medical site will have an About Us section that discussed who the site is run by and who they’re associated with.
  • Poor writing: A real medical site will have clear writing you can understand and be written in a professional manner. If you see a ton of spelling errors, weird fancy text or humor mixed in with advice, there's a good chance you're at a bunk website.
All of the above are red flags. If you see these things, there’s a very good chance the website is a fake and they may be offering pretend advice meant to sell a specific product. Leave the site right away and visit a reputable medical website or call the advice nurse at your clinic. Three reputable medical websites: Image via sxc.

Tags: best medical website child health medical advice sick child when to call the doctor when to go to er

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