Google is a doctor’s worst nightmare. Parents walk in the office and diagnose their own child based on online articles. It’s reality, though, in this day and age. We all use search engines to get answers. When used correctly, Dr. Google helps parents and their children.
6 ways Dr. Google helps parents
Some doctors tell parents to stop Googling because of all the scary information out there. Cancer seems to be a diagnosis for many symptoms. As much as doctors hate search crazy parents, I think it’s awesome. It really makes all of us better parents.
However, we need to be careful with how we present our search findings to the experts. The last thing a doctor wants to hear is, I think our child has x.
Despite the scary factor of Google searches, here’s 6 reasons Dr. Google is healthy for parents and their children.
It takes 30 seconds for Dr. Google to answer your medical questions. Suddenly, Mom and Dad are medical experts. In comparison, it takes an hour or more to visit your doctor. You may or may not leave with answers.
You just don’t have an hour for every little health related issue that pops up with your child. For example, most times diaper rash doesn’t require a trip to the doctor. A quick search online will provide pictures of normal and extreme diaper rash. Those quick answers can help you make decisions.
Prioritize medical issues
Dr. Google helps parents prioritize medical issues. Parenting is tough. We learn on the job, so Dr. Google helps guide us along.
When children are young, they can’t talk and tell you what’s wrong with them. Dr. Google helps you through those tough times. The information can help you prioritize medical issues. That diaper rash may not require a trip to the doctor, but that persistent cough may.
We worry about everything as parents, so Google helps me categorize important medical issues from minor ones.
Let’s face it. When I’m alone at the doctor with my daughter, I’m half listening to the pediatrician. I’m focused on my daughter who is running around the room, and opening drawers that are not locked. I can’t believe pediatrician offices are not baby or child proofed. They have toys. Why not use outlet plug covers or cabinet locks? Anyway, you get my point. Parents have to watch their child closely in the doctor’s office.
Search engines help me remember the details I forgot my doctor told me. Remember, I only retain half of the information.
While your doctor is a voice of reason and trust, you need reassurance and suggestions in your day to day life as a parent. Your pediatrician is not there to guide you through the rough moments. You spend 15-30 minutes with him every few months. If that much. The Internet is there 24 hours a day providing you support from other parents when you need it most.
Ideas and suggestions
The Internet also provides ideas and suggestions to help children. You don’t need to consult a medical expert for every parenting decision even if it is health related. New parents have a million questions, and the Internet provides answers.
The World Wide Web is full of a diverse group of people from all over the world and different backgrounds. Each one offering insight into what technique worked for them. This is useful when you are struggling to find the secret to get your child to sleep. [insert link]
As parents, we know our child best. Even better than our pediatrician. They know how to diagnose illnesses and treat them, but we know how to handle our children better during everyday issues. Sometimes parents are told an issue is “normal” even though your instinct tells you it’s not normal.
The Internet provides guidance, reassurance, and support when your instinct tells you something other than your doctor. The information can reassure a parent when a doctor doubts their instinct.
Sometimes you need to get a second opinion. I consider Google my second opinion that leads me to get a third opinion from an expert.
Note: When searching online, get a mix of opinions. Include research articles and trusted groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Use the information only as a guide, and consult your doctor when needed.