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online medical research for kids health

Do You Diagnose Your Child Based on Your Online Medical Research?

Becoming a parent doesn’t just come with a new feeling of unconditional love for someone. It also comes with parental instincts and a new found courage to protect no matter what the cost. So when a child is sick, the parent of that child will study and research every possible thing that links to their child’s symptoms.

online medical research for kids health

After my son was born, he went through many conditions that worried me to death. As I researched and looked for the cause and possible risks of each condition, I realized how silly it was for me to get so worked up and panicked over stuff I didn’t realize were actually normal.

At almost 3 months old, my son had a fever of 100.4. For some of us, 100.4 may not sound that hot, but babies are not supposed to have that kind of temperature.

I remembered my mom telling me that I really shouldn’t freak out about every little thing that happens to my son. Then she reminded me about the Philippines and asked me if I thought people in the Philippines had the luxury of taking their kids to the hospital every time they felt slightly off color.

I remember having spent the night at her house so trusting my own mom, I did my best not to worry and tried to go to bed. I woke up at about 6am and still worried, packed my things and got ready to go. I needed to take my child to the doctor, no matter what.

After a few hours in the waiting room and going through tests, I was told that babies under 3 months of age should not have a fever of 100.4 and that it was the right choice for me to take him to the hospital.

We ended up staying there for about 5 days, because none of the tests could tell anything was wrong. In the end, it all turned out to be a urinary tract infection.

While all the tests were going on, I was on my phone looking for all the possible things that could happen. Of course I got worked up the most about the major conditions that could potentially hurt my little guy.

Dangers of diagnosing an illness based on online medical research

Researching online medical information is normal for many parents. However, it may not always be the smartest thing to do, especially since we don’t have the ability to actually conduct the tests necessary to conclude our research.

The dangers to online research is finding information that may create a negative impact on your social situations. For example, I’ve heard of moms who don’t let their kids play with pets, simply because they’ve read information about the possible diseases they can pass on, but negate the fact that cats, dogs, or even other pets can also help the health situations of many kids.

The positive side of doing your own research for your child’s health and safety

Although we like to think doctors know everything, they are humans too, which means they can make mistakes. So is it a bad thing to do your own research and perhaps suggest what possible diagnosis YOU might have for your child’s health situation?

As a parent, your child’s health and safety is your top priority. So naturally, you would want to make sure all avenues have been considered.

If you have a concern and questions about specific conditions, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s doctor or a medical professional about it. They might seem busy, but they’re there to take care of us, physically and emotionally.

As parents, we are given the gift of having complete compassion and love for our kids. Only WE would be 100% up to speed with all their issues, whether it has to do with health or anything else in their lives. We get to decide when and how much worrying we can do for them.

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.

26 comments

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  • I encourage my kids to always use their brain, be skeptical, and inquire all information presented to them. Especially from medical professionals. They get paid enough to take the time to explain themselves. They also digest an incredible amount of information – that is supposed to be updated annually. I definitely pursue research, but always be wary – always keep an eye on the source and never act on it. Just digest the info that helps me in my observation of my child versus jumping to administering any unnecessary treatment.

  • The internet can be scary when it comes to online research. I really appreciate this post. You really put things into perspective when it comes to diagnosing yourself. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m not a parent yet, but this is a huge help for me for my nephew. I never take a risk online when it’s all about the health.

  • I use the internet as a reference to help me determine if I should take my child onto the doctor. However, usually go with my maternal instinct (or gut), and am usually regretful when I go against it.

  • I definitely do not diagnose my or my children’s symptoms by researching anything online. It does serve to give you some general information, but is so unspecific it can be traumatizing!

  • I dont’ have children but I diagnose myself at least 10 times a day. I really hope I lose this before I have kids or I’m going to be a nervous wreck 24/7!

  • I confess, there are days when I have sought of medical advice from Dr. Google and then promptly head straight to the doctors because I was convinced they had something horrible.
    I don’t do it so much now thankfully but I always go with my gut.

  • This is where the internet is both great and a demon. Sometimes it can help to put your mind to rest, helping you to realise that there is nothing seriously wrong but on other occasisons it can cause people to panic for no good reason and can potentially turn everyone into hypercondriacs.

  • I try not to medicate my child based on internet suggestions I always go to my mom or grandma if it is a simple thing but when neither of us know anything the I go straight to the doctor

  • I always pass judgement about my sickness based on online medical research, sometimes they have great information but it i always better to go see a doctor. No one should ever try to diagnose a child using online medical research.

  • I don’t diagnose my child(ren), but I do use the information I find from trusted sources. I have a background in nursing, so it’s a little easier for me to discern the good from the bad.

  • As a parent, you’ll do whatever is best for your child. A little research wouldn’t hurt, it’s for your child’s sake anyway.

  • Know it’s crazy? I literally heard of doctors calling of different web M.D. type sites while they’re working with the patient. Crazy.

  • Never! I don’t do it for myself and I would never do it for my kids. There is way too much misinformation out there for my liking.

  • I learned a long time ago that WebMD is usually not my friend–then I think I have everything. But my doctor IS my friend and I consult her when needed so I am not off on some scary tangent.

  • This was a good read for me. I don’t have a child but I can certainly apply your tips to myself. I’m an avid “let Google diagnose me” person, which is not a good idea! I’ve become better at it though so I try not to let Google be my first stop when I’m under the weather