The Internet is the new frontier in the information age that we find ourselves living in. Instant access to medical information from the Internet allows today’s parents to be very sophisticated consumers of healthcare…as long as the information they are getting is sound. We all know and have heard repeatedly that a lot of the information on the Internet is incorrect or geared toward selling you something. I was reminded of this fact in a recent article that was posted in the Journal of Pediatrics, August 2nd, which looked at the quality of advice regarding “safe sleep for infants” that one gets from Internet sources such as websites and blogs.
The investigators reviewed 1300 Internet sources of information and evaluated them for accuracy, using the Academy of Pediatrics guidelines as their gold standard source. They found that 28% of the websites and blogs gave inaccurate information; that means that almost 1 in 3 sources were incorrect about this vitally important topic. Another reminder to “Know your source!” Here’s a DocSmo pearl for you: “To make good decisions, you need good information.” Peer reviewed and referenced information is vital to getting accurate advice and making good decisions. Your child’s health deserves the best: make sure important decisions about your child’s health are based on the best advice available.