When it comes to a child’s health, some parents may overreact about the smallest conditions… but that reaction is well placed! The unknown of what to do when your little one is ill/hurt is often scary, but that’s what your pediatrician is there for. Their job is to treat your child, answer completely ridiculous questions and put your mind at ease.

As important as it is for pediatricians tell parents what to do when it comes to their child’s well-being, it’s just as important to inform them of what not to do.

Bill Bush, a pediatrician-in-chief at Helen DeVos Hospital in Michigan, laid out the top five things to avoid doing when your child is sick. Take a look:

  • Stop diagnosing from the internet: When parents are bothered by their child’s symptoms they often turn to the internet for answers… but they should stop doing this! Even though some sites like the American Academy of Pediatrics may have some useful tips, it’s impossible to diagnose over the internet. Also, many sites are either outdated or inaccurate, so it’s best to cut the internet out of your go-to list for health answers and schedule a trip to your pediatrician instead.
  • Stop going to the ER so much: Most times, your child will not need to go to the ER for a headache or other minor pain. Save your time and money by making a quick call to your pediatrician before going to the ER. They often dial down the situation and tell you how to handle the problem yourself. So next time, before you immediately jump in the car, pick up the phone.
  • Stop requesting antibiotics: Antibiotics are frequently sought out by parents and are extremely beneficial. However, they’re not always necessary. Antibiotics are appropriate for things like bacterial infections, but may not always be the best for a viral illness. These types of conditions just need time to heal themselves. The next time your child is sick, give their bodies a few days to fight off the illness and trust that your pediatrician will know the right way to treat them.
  • Stop using Q-tips to clean ears: This is HUGE no-no is true not only for adults, but also absolutely necessary for children. Children have very small ears and therefore, small ear canals. All using a q-tip does is push the wax further and further into the ear canal, which can cause temporary loss of hearing and even pain. Avoid this altogether by simply letting some water get into your child’s ear at bath time. The water will loosen the wax and allow it to work itself out of the ear over time.
  • Stop skipping well-child doctor visits: Doctors understand that we all lead busy lives, but check-ups are just as important as emergency visits. By going for checkups regularly, you can prevent or manage certain diseases like hearing and vision problems, heart murmurs, blood pressure elevation and more. These visits also allow your child to feel more comfortable with your doctor, making it easier for him/her to express their health concerns in the future.

We hope these tips were helpful. If you have any other insights, please let us know in the comments!