We’ve heard it so many times: put the WebMD down, you have a cold, you’re not going to die! But the doctors at Bundoo have weighed in regarding your web searching your child’s health with a resounding “Dr. Google is not your friend”, in Dr. Sara Conolly’s article.
She advocates for using Google as what it’s intended for: factual and pointed searches, such as “what is the capital of France”. The place to get answers about pediatrics is simple: your child’s pediatrician (or naturopath, or specialist).
That is not to say that your doctor(s) do or should want you to remain ignorant; in fact you may ask them for resources that will far surpass your Google searches. And if you find yourself in big disagreements with one doctor, consider finding a second or third opinion.
Dr. Connolly rightly points out that doctors don’t hate when people in a well-intentioned way try to educate themselves with Google searches. If anything, it is heartening to see and participate actively and mutually to see children thrive! What she cautions against is taking everything read on Google as one hundred percent exclusive truth.
Google searches cue up results based on algorithms; your doctor performing the same search with the same keywords as you will get different results based on their search histories, social media profiles/email accounts, etc. The best approach in health and wellness is a well-rounded one; one that considers anomalies and abnormalities, one that is emotionally unbiased (or if anything, biased in an intentionally and clearly uplifting manner), and one that is communicative and takes into consideration almost any possibility.
It is mid cold/flu season, so do keep Dr. Connolly’s advice in mind! The other piece of the research puzzle she says is highly important is seeking evidence-based resources as your references. Sometimes evidence says many different things, so this is a good opportunity to be in conversation with your child’s doctor about complex information, and how to bring what you’re reading close to home to keep your little one(s) healthy.
Knowledge is power! And with great power, comes great responsibility. So knowing what your tools are doing, and when to set them down in favor of discussion with experts and professionals in your realm are keys to a healthy and happy pediatric kingdom!