In emergencies, parent consult the internet before the doc


One in eight parents starts with the internet when considering how to treat their child – even before going to an emergency room. In fact, parents are so comfortable with the internet, they are eager for site recommendations from their pediatricians and doctors, according to new research.

According to Dr. Purvi Shroff from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, doctors should get their resources lined up and be ready to make those online recommendations. Dr. Shroff presented her findings to the American Academy of Pediatricians in Boston in October this year. She interviewed over 240 parents with internet access during a visit to the emergency room with their child. The most common website these parents consulted before making the drive to the ER was WebMD and Wikipedia. A few parents referenced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Health Children website.

A majority of parents said they would be highly likely to visit a website their child’s doctor recommended.

“Being invested in your child’s health and wanting to learn more and make the best decision for your child is always a good thing. However, when it comes to using the internet, appropriate use depends on accessing good websites and knowing whether or not the information you find is applicable to your child,” Dr. Shroff explained.

Parents need to confide in their doctors when they have consulted the internet and tell them what sites they use. Doctors in turn need to steer their patients to relevant and trustworthy sites to enhance the health of their children.

Source: Reuters, AAP


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