How do I find good information about my kids health and development?

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Answered by: Robin, An Expert in the Health and Development Category
As a mom, trying to figure out if your kids are on the right road with their health and development can sometimes be challenging.

At one time, the wisdom of generations before from moms and grandmothers and aunts was readily available, but now, wisdom often comes from the Internet. Googling “kids health and development” nets 315 million hits, so it is key to make sure the information listed is accurate and medically supported.

The best approach is to begin with sites run by medical associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, or sites run by government health agencies like the National Institutes of Health. These sites offer information that is wide-ranging and backed by respected research.

Other options include looking to universities or other facilities that already run respected healthcare facilities such as the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins University. Finally, looking for a site that is accredited by an independent crediting organization like the URAC is another way to hone in on good information. This independent, non-profit organization offers accreditation based on a fixed set of standards for healthcare organizations.

Once you find good web sites, take the time to review the options to see what pertains to your situation. Development stages of toddlers won’t matter if you have teens in your home. Take time to check out more than one site to build an overall view of the topic you are interested in. Beginning with basic information about developmental stages is a great start, especially for parents of children under the age of five.

One good option is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. This site is user friendly and give information in a way that is easy to understand. Under Developmental Milestones, it lists milestones beginning at two months and going all the way to five years. There are short, interesting videos to watch as well as, printable fact sheets to review. These might be helpful if you want to take the information with you to your child’s next doctor’s appointment.

But if you have teenagers in your house, taking up the couch and eating all the snacks, the CDC has a page of guidelines for you too, including parenting tips, important safety information and down to earth advice. Even parents of almost-grown kids sometimes need that extra bit of wisdom. Finally, the CDC’s page also includes several links to other reputable sites for kids.

Whatever your child’s age and stage, getting information about kid's health and development is much like getting advice from loving relatives that came before you. Take in a variety of information. Carefully review each of different ways to rate your child’s health, remembering to base the advice on medically sound research. And don’t forget that each child is different, and most information is based on averages.

Most importantly of all, trust your instincts. You know your child best, so listen to your inner mom, and have a doctor check her out if you feel something is not right.

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