Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Facebook medical advice isn’t what’s best for your child

From the 29 July 2013 KevinMD.com article

 | SOCIAL MEDIA | JULY 29, 2013

It happens about once a week. As I scroll through Facebook and peruse the latest happenings, I notice that someone (usually a mom of small children, like me) has posed a question to their Facebook friends about some type of health dilemma.

“Little Sally is cutting teeth, and she’s miserable. What can I give her to make her feel better?”

“Johnny has such a bad cough, and he can barely breathe. Anyone used Vick’s Vaporub on a baby before?”

“Took  Sam for his 4-month checkup today. Dr. says I should wait to start giving him baby food until 6 months, but I feel like he’s ready. Any moms have some advice?”

I’ve seen each of these health concerns voiced on Facebook along with many others. Various friends weigh in with their tidbits of advice or personal experience, and usually the mom will choose from those options and then report back about how that advice worked.

Here’s the problem: all health information isn’t created equal.

And crowdsourcing for medical advice isn’t likely to result in the best outcome for your child.

Although the Facebook community recommended several products for Sally’s mom to try to ease teething pain, they were likely unaware that many of these products are no longer recommended for infants because of serious health risks associated with their use.

While Johnny’s mom’s Facebook friends offered enthusiastic support for rubbing Vick’s VapoRub on his chest, feet, and even putting it under his nose, they didn’t know that this product can be harmful to children under two years of age.

Read the entire article here (which includes great Web sites for child health/medical information)

Related resources

July 30, 2013 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , ,

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