Nothing replaces experience when it comes to raising children. If you don't have that experience, you will feel much better about your role as mom or dad if you have knowledge available to you when something goes wrong. There may be nothing more heartbreaking than a sick or injured child, but if you know where to look for information, you'd be more inclined to react calmly and efficiently if something were to happen.
- Begin with the basics. When looking for general knowledge about kids' health issues, the basics are the most important things to have covered first. Go to your local library or bookstore and look through the health books to find books specifically geared toward good health and first aid.
- Many hospitals offer first aid and CPR classes for new parents. If your hospital does not, you can contact the Red Cross for classes in your area. The Red Cross has classes for new parents, babysitters and children. Along with first aid and CPR, they also have classes for automated external defibrillator (AED) and injury prevention.
- For most specific issues, there are books that cover almost any condition you can imagine. These books often go into detail about symptoms, medications and treatments. You can also search through the newspaper archives at your local library to find the latest news on the condition in question.
- When it comes to your child's health, your most reliable source is your pediatrician. Not only does your pediatrician have the education and experience to help guide you reliably though any illness, but he is also readily available and familiar with your child.
- The Internet has a wide variety of health websites and articles on a multitude of health issues that affect kids. Government sites are the most reliable. Many articles are meant to be a guide and should never take the place of your pediatrician's advice. Not all information you find on the Internet will be true and reliable. Use the information as a guide and discuss your findings with your kid's doctor.
- Your local hospital is also a great source of information. Many hospitals have a nurse or doctor line you can call twenty-four hours a day. They can help you with medications, symptoms and deciding if your child needs to seek immediate medical treatment.
- Keep an eye on your local news for health issues that may be caused by environmental issues in your area. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has a website that is dedicated to keeping parents informed about how the environment can affect the health of your kids.
- Valuable support groups often exist right in your community. If your child has a specific illness, look to see if there are any support groups in your town. You can connect with other parents facing the same problems that you face, and you may find them to be knowledgeable about new treatments and medications that you can discuss with your kid's pediatrician.