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Dr. Google Is In; Sanity Is Out

Many people consult "Dr. Google" when seeking health information, but is this always a good idea? The Internet is a great way of educating yourself on a condition after a diagnosis has been made. However, simply looking up your child's symptoms for a possible explanation may have you convinced they have a life-threatening condition when they don't! A healthcare provider can run tests, share the benefit of their experience, and help you keep your sanity.

"Dr. Google" Has Its Drawbacks

So, you've gone and done it. You had a small worry about your baby or child, and you decided to look it up on the Internet. Now, hours later, you cannot tear yourself away from the screen, bleary-eyed and convinced that your child has one of several possible life-threatening diseases.
Maybe your baby didn't poop today, you did a quick Internet search, and now you're sure your baby is about to die of a bowel obstruction. Or maybe you decided to read all 400 entries in a blog about a child's struggle with leukemia. Now you cannot sleep because you must find out if your child could have leukemia too.
Before you call the doctor in the middle of the night or rush your kid directly to the ER, step back, take a deep breath, and try to reclaim some sanity.

Horses, Not Zebras

Medical students are often taught the famous saying, "When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras." Parents can benefit from this wise saying as well.
If your child hasn't pooped in a while, it's more likely that he or she is a bit constipated instead of suffering from a bowel obstruction. If she has been a little tired lately, perhaps her busy schedule and late nights are the culprit, not leukemia. A cough and a runny nose? Think a cold, not pneumonia or Hantavirus.
Yes, sometimes rare diseases happen. But if your child is experiencing symptoms shared by common illnesses and rare ones, it's usually safe to assume that the common ones are to blame.
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