As a parent, you will always have the deep, instinctual urge to worry about the health and wellbeing of your child. The moment something goes amiss, you immediately look for the root cause. Oftentimes, you will have to turn to the internet for an answer, especially when you don’t have access to a pediatric care professional right away.
Doing a little research on the internet is fine, especially when you are looking for a way to relieve the effects of some lesser symptoms. However, when we are curious, we might end up looking at a “symptom checker” to check off a series of symptoms and get a long list of potential illnesses. To be frank, these checkers are unreliable, especially the more complex ones.
The Problem with Symptom Checkers
As previously stated, we worry a lot as parents, and it’s only natural. However, this worry can sometimes cause us to become irrational, and we can even end up thinking a cold is really a more severe illness that, in reality, would make no sense.
The fact of the matter is that symptom checkers tend to point to illnesses that are uncommon or downright rare.As an example, there are many cases where a symptom checker will point out cancer as the root cause of certain symptoms. As we all know, cancer is very rare in children, and the symptoms that you chose might just be generalized. The symptom checker only tries to suggest certain illnesses based on a database of symptoms; it is in no way an accurate diagnosis.
In any case, there are some times when a symptom checker is okay, especially when you are diagnosing adults. Children are another case altogether because the majority of symptoms you can be absolutely sure about are those that are visible. Otherwise, you have to rely on the reports of your child in order to determine what the symptoms are.
Which Symptom Checkers are Reliable?
Despite the poor reputation of symptom checkers, there are some good ones that are okay when looking for pediatric care. These particular checkers offer more generalized information rather than specific causes for illnesses. They highlight the fact that these problems are suggestions rather than an actual diagnosis.
Additionally, the good kinds of symptom checkers will offer solutions or remedies for symptoms as well as connections to other symptoms you might not be aware of. Finally, as a particular case for children, these symptom checkers will offer results that are specific to childcare and illnesses that are especially common among children, such as pinkeye.
Even though there are good symptom checkers, the ultimate diagnosis should always come from a doctor or specialist. When it comes to pediatric care, the professionals are always the ones who are there to help look after your child. If you end up looking at a symptom checker, always keep in mind that you should take your sick child to the pediatrician—no matter what the checker says.