GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Lindsey Peters admits being a mom is hard. She admits that at times she looks to the internet for advice in caring for her little girl, Brylee. But what she finds there can be overwhelming and sometimes contradictory.
So FOX 17 took some questions to Dr. Bill Bush, chief pediatrician at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.
He listed eight things you should avoid doing if you have kids.
Stop posting photos of your children on social media without their permission.
While some parents joke it's their job to embarrass their kids, Dr. Bush says children have sensitive egos. Plus, unless your posts are private, the whole world -- even predators -- can see where your child is likely to be and when.
Stop requesting antibiotics when your child has a cold or other viral illness.
This problem has decreased in the past decade, but Dr. Bush says he still gets a lot of requests for antibiotics for colds. But antibiotics don't fight colds, and our bodies fight colds off naturally, anyway.
Stop checking the internet for answers instead of calling your pediatrician’s office for advice.
"So often we’ll get seems of paper brought in, and parents say, 'I already know what’s wrong with my child,'" Bush said. Google is not the answer; anyone can create a web page or offer advice on the internet. Dr. Bush recommends parents ask their pediatricians for advice, but if you're going to use a website, try the American Academy of Pediatrics website for parents: http://www.healthychildren.org.
Stop letting your children ride their bikes, skateboards, scooters, skis and snowboards without a helmet on.
Dr. Bush says he sees too many preventable concussions and lacerations that could be easily prevented.
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. What shouldn't happen: putting your own kids in safety seats but having no such seats for other kids getting a ride.
Stop taking your child to the the emergency room for any reason besides an emergency, unless directed by your doctor.
The cost of the emergency care is often four times higher than an office visit. Dr. Bush also says kids will end up having more tests done than necessary. In your own doctor's office, "We already know that child, have their chart and can provide them with the best care."
Stop focusing on the child’s temperature.
Once beyond infancy, a fever is just another symptom to report. Fevers can be uncomfortable but rarely dangerous. If babies under three months feel warm, call a doctor, because they're at higher risk, but Dr. Bush says he's not concerned about the temperature number for older kids. If you want to help your kid feel better, try Tylenol and place a luke warm towel on their forehead or neck.
Stop using cotton tipped swabs to clean out children’s ears.
Instead of removing ear wax, you just end up packing wax deeper into the ear canal.