Parents today, unlike parents 30, 40, 50 years ago, are faced with trying to interpret blather of information. They receive information and advice on the Internet. They receive it at the grocery store. They receive it at the parks. They receive it in their mommy and me groups. And they receive it from their healthcare providers.
The problem for most families today – they want to do right by their kids, but with all this information, much of which is conflicting – whether it’d be on vaccinations, or antibiotics for ear infections – it’s what is the truth? What’s best for my child?
My advice for them is the following – number one, try to find a healthcare provider that you can trust, because at the end of the day, you’re not going to be able to spend enough time educating yourself – even though it’s good to try – when you have to make some of these decisions. So that trust with your healthcare provider is critical.
Second thing – I’m a big believer that both parents and physicians should have a skeptical attitude with information that they receive. The problem is what is that information and where do you get it.
A big concern for me today is the Internet – it can be a blessing, and it can be a curse. Because much of the information on the Internet is uncensored and what we call in the medical profession ‘anecdotal,’ which means that they’re personal stories. Personal stories can be very compelling and persuasive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are true.