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Many parents may believe that the internet has made it easier for them to learn what is wrong with their sick child. Googling ‘ring worm’ in the comfort of your home is more convenient that loading your child in your car and heading to the clinic/hospital.
The internet provides a myriad of information from medical journals, patient testimonials, videos of symptoms/surgical procedures, online health communities, interest groups and individual opinions. This puts medical information (both accurate and inaccurate) in the hands of non-experts, thus both empowering and endangering todays ‘google generation’. Investigators in England used the Google search engine to find the answers to five common paediatric questions (Arch Dis Child 2010: 95(8): 580-2) e.g.is there a link between MMR and autism and should a baby sleep on its back or its front.
They reviewed 500 web sites. Government sites were correct every time, news sites only 55% of the time, and none of the responses on sponsored sites were correct. They concluded that the quality of medical advice from internet sites was variable at best and that doctors should continue to strive to be the major source of health information. With this in mind, we have provided links to some good websites that you can access through our website. Furthermore, we encourage parents to seek health information from us during their visits, by phone and via email. We feel our experience and approachability are good, so please ask us lots of questions when you come in. You will leave with peace of mind!