Is Dr. Google reliable when it comes to your baby's health inquiries?

Can you trust Dr. Google?

Anxious parents may rely on online medical info when baby gets sick. Understandable. You want to be better informed about your baby’s health. But is it safe to rely on the Internet when it comes to health issues? How do you guarantee that the information you found is accurate? 

Negative online experience

Learn How to Pick the Good from the Bad in Online Medical Info

According to Dr. Dina Stratchan, a New York-based medical and cosmetic dermatologist,"Our very skills of assessing the quality and meaning of online information are not yet up to par. Information can be empowering and reassuring for some patients, while it can overwhelm and possibly mislead others. Some people simply can’t weigh the value of information in a teenager’s blog vs. a vetted medical site vs. a doctor’s assessment."

When seeking health information online or in parenting forums, it’s important to make sure it’s credible. The bottom line is it’s always best to discuss concerns with your doctor, too.

Ask your child’s doctor to recommend a website so you can find out more about your children's medical condition quickly. You can also discuss with the doctor whether the online information you found is trustworthy and relevant.

Health data found online should be dependable, attainable and trustworthy. But how can you be sure?

Things to Consider Before Trusting Online Medical Info:

1. It is more reliable if the medical data that you find is up to date.

2. Is the article sponsored? Is it selling you something? If the story’s intention is to sell you a certain brand, it may be biased. Choose a source that prioritises information first instead of sales!

3. How well do you know the organisation or the writer providing the info? It’s important to check whether an expert is well-respected within the field. But you should not ignore it if it does not come from a doctor. Check out their sources instead. That may give you clues!

4. Can you trust the domain name? Reputable companies and organisations often use their name as their domain name.

The Cons of Online Medical Info

1. Fear of misdiagnosis is common. You may worry if your search results are reliable and relevant.

2. Health blogs are based on personal experience. Oftentimes, their experience may be different from your baby’s case. This may lead to misinformation.

3. How recent is the related study that you have read? Make sure that the source that you have is recent since the body of scientific research is constantly evolving.

4. You may be overwhelmed with large amounts of information, so it may cause confusion.

The internet, when used wisely, can be a gold mine of medical info. Remember that your doctor appreciates it that you take the time to do extensive research about your baby's health, but it will be best to leave the diagnosis to the experts!

Be responsible when using online medical info, mums and dads! Search wisely.

 

Sources: The Conversation, Healthline

Read also: 10 things you need to teach your kids about internet safety