Paging Dr. Google
January 27, 2012
You may have decided to create family resolutions, or have a personal new year’s resolution. But, as parents our biggest resolution is to do our best to take the best possible care of our children.
One of the more nerve wracking moments is when a child develops a cough, rash, or earache. We don’t want to overreact and rush to the doctor, but what if it’s serious? How do you know? Unfortunately, a lot of parents turn to Google to find out. While searching online may result in some helpful information, it can also be uber-scary because you can find all these unique, rare, serious possibilities.
In my job in community education, I run into several people a week who have Google-diagnosed their health concerns. They might be right but they are often looking at some of the remotest of possible conditions. There are good resources online for searching for health information.
Calling your nurse health line can be helpful or attending a health fair (if you're in Redmond, check out Swedish Redmond's health fair tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The most important thing to remember is that if you feel it’s serious or you just don’t know; call your primary care physician’s office. Swedish and some other facilities offers the ability to email questions through MyChart. Your child’s primary care provider should always be happy to answer questions, without paging Dr Google.