As a pediatrician, I see and hear about all sorts of things parents are doing with their kids on a regular basis... the good and the bad.
In response to this, I have compiled the following eight tips for parents on things any pediatrician would tell you to stop doing.
1) Stop posting photos of your children on social media without their permission. Funny photos might make you laugh but are embarrassing to your child. Their egos are sensitive. Additionally, unless your posts are private, the whole world (including perpetrators) can see you and where your child is likely to be and when.
2) Stop requesting antibiotics when your child has a cold or other viral illness. This has lessened during the past decade, but we still get many phone requests for antibiotics.
3) Stop checking the internet for answers instead of calling your pediatrician’s office for advice. Remember that anyone can create a webpage or offer advice on the internet. Call your pediatrician’s office, or if after hours, consult reliable websites such as the American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents (www.healthychildren.org
4) Stop letting you children ride their bikes, skateboards, scooters, and skis without a helmet. Be a great example for your children and the neighborhood by also wearing your helmet when on your bike, rollerblades, or skiing. We see too many preventable concussions and lacerations that could be easily prevented.
5) Stop transporting your children or friend’s kids without the appropriate car seat or booster seat. Check your state’s car seat law. Also keep your kids in the backseat until they reach the age of 12.
6) Stop utilizing the Emergency Department for any reason besides an emergency, unless directed by your doctor’s office. Most visits to the emergency departments are for issues that could be handled in the pediatrician’s office. The cost of the emergency care is often four times the cost of an office visit.
7) Stop focusing on the child’s temperature. Once beyond infancy, the fever is just another symptom to report. Fever can be uncomfortable but rarely dangerous.
8) Stop using Q-tips to clean out children’s ears. Packing wax deeper into the canal is more common than successfully removing wax that is not migrated out to the edge of the ear canal.