Links To Additional Resources
Listed here are a few useful web sites for parents or others who are interested in learning more about critically ill and injured children, as well as about children’s health issues generally. Please note that investigating these links is not a substitute for talking with your child’s doctor, and you should not interpret these links as me giving you specific medical advice. On the other hand, these sites will help you understand things better, and will therefore help you in your discussions with your own or your child’s doctor. This is not an exhaustive list, of course, but I have found all of these sites to be excellent.
This site is the one that every pediatric intensivist uses for information and other internet links about pediatric critical care. It is sponsored by a group called PedsCCM, a consortium of respected authorities in the care of critically ill and injured children. The site is designed for doctors and nurses, but it has a wealth of other information and links for anyone interested in the subject.
This is the site for the American Academy of Pediatrics, the main professional organization for all medical persons who care for children. Like most pediatricians, I am a Fellow of the Academy, and I use this site frequently to locate professional information. However, there are also many excellent resources on the site for parents. The Academy puts a great deal of effort and thought into their site, and you can be absolutely sure that everything that you read there represents the consensus opinion of all of America’s pediatricians on a particular topic. The Academy maintains a bookstore on their site with many authoritative and useful publications on topics ranging from breast feeding to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The site can also help you find a pediatrician for your child.
Family doctors also care for children. The American Academy of Family Physicians maintains this informational website that has excellent information about childhood diseases. This site has a particularly useful section about over-the-counter medications – when to use them, when not to use them.
This is a site sponsored by the Nemours Foundation, a highly respected system of children’s hospitals in Delaware, Florida, and other places. It has practical, yet detailed explanations for a huge list of children’s health problems. The site is also easy to navigate.
This is the patient information site maintained by the Mayo Clinic. This organization devotes a large amount of time and expense to providing a very informative, attractive, and easy to navigate site. It has the authority of the Mayo Clinic behind it, the largest integrated medical practice in the world. Unlike the other sites above, the Mayo site also has an interactive feature that allows readers to submit questions to a Mayo physician. There is a special children’s health section on the site.
This is the official site of the National Library of Medicine, which is a division of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the federal government. This is also an authoritative site with an enormous amount of information. It is more formidable to navigate than the above three sites (Medline predates the world-wide-web by many years), but it has been improved over the years to make it much more useful to parents and patients. Its online medical encyclopedia and medical dictionary are especially useful for those wanting to understand precisely what their doctors are saying. The site has a powerful search function that allows an interested non-physician to find information on nearly any disease or medical topic.
The important thing to remember about the internet is that anybody can put anything there; there is no guarantee that the information you find there is correct, and some of it is wrong. You must consider the reputation of the source. Of course, the best thing to do is to use the information on these sites as part of your discussions with your child’s doctor. Also ask your doctor about recommendations for good information sources on the internet. Most doctors have opinions about which sites are reliable, and many have brochures they give to their patients to help them use the internet wisely.
Here are some more:
Boston Children’s Hospital: http://www.childrenshospital.org
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: http://www.chop.edu
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/patients/child/health/
The Children’s Hospital of Colorado: http://www.childrenscolorado.org
Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles: http://www.chla.org
Seattle Children’s Hospital: http://www.seattlechildrens.org
Nemours Children’s Hospital: http://kidshealth.org
There are also some excellent blogs maintained by pediatricians where you can find reliable information and interact with the blog owner, read about other parents’ experiences, and even contribute yourself. This is a rapidly changing area, of course, but here is a sampling of some excellent pediatric blogs that have been around for several years at least and are maintained by pediatricians who frequently post informative essays. None of them pitch products–just simple information exchange.
Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson’s blog: http://seattlemamadoc.seattlechildrens.org
Dr. Claire McCarthy’s blog: http://childrenshospitalblog.com
Dr. Natasha Burgert’s blog: http://kckidsdoc.com
My own blog: http://www.chrisjohnsonmd.com/blog/