By Becky Quinten
Everything is available on the World Wide Web, and anyone can find it. It’s important not to get caught up in the web of information that sometimes isn’t accurate.
Using the keyword “and” in your search will help narrow your search results because who is really going to read 2 million search results?
Wikipedia posts can be published and edited by anyone, so it’s probably not the best website to rely on for information — especially when it comes to the health of your little ones.
It’s not only important that you locate pediatric information on the Internet, but it is critical that you evaluate it when determining what websites you can trust.
Below are some tips and credible resources for finding and evaluating pediactric information online.
1. Who is the author? Is the author an expert? Are the author’s credentials noted by their name? Is the information reliable? What is the goal of the author? Was it produced by a corporation as a form of advertising? Some corporate websites are very trustworthy, others not so much.
2. Examine the Uniform Resource Locator of the website. It pops up in the top left hand bar of your computer screen when you access a Web page. URLs ending in .gov are published by the government. If the URL ends in .edu they were published by an educational institution, and if they end in .org, the information was published by an organization.
3. Check the publication date of the website. It can be found at the beginning or end of the article. Medical information is updated frequently, so make sure you are reviewing current literature.
4. For medical information, look for the Health on the Internet, or HON code certification, which is usually located on the bottom right hand side of the article. Health on the Internet Foundation was created in 1995 and is a non-governmental organization dedicated to providing reliable health information on the Internet.
It is important to remember that no website provides medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please check with your health care provider who can determine how information on the Internet may or may not apply to you.
Online pediatric resources
- Family Doctor – produced by the American Academy of Family Physicians. This site has health information for the whole family. Info is available in both English and Spanish.
- National Library of Medicine – the National Institutes of Health is considered the world’s largest biomedical library. Health information available in both English and Spanish.
- KidsHealth – from Nemours Foundation Center for Children’s Health is approved by physicians and is very popular with consumers. Information is available in both English and Spanish.
- WEB MD and Children’s Health – reviewed by pediatricians and other medical experts and is a sponsored site. Along with health information, there are useful videos, quizzes and slideshows for parents.