Parenting · Pregnancy

How to search online for health information

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How often do you search online for questions about your health? Have you ever wondered:

It is easy to find answers to questions online, but is it information you can trust? Learning how to find reliable and correct information can help you make informed decisions. Finding the right information can also help you start conversations about preconception planning or pregnancy with your health care provider.

Signs of a reliable website:

  1. Information is supported by evidence and facts from different sources.
  2. Information is presented in a neutral manner. Be careful of articles that are one-sided or offer miracle cures.
  3. Articles with health information are written by health care professionals. Their name and qualifications should be clearly shown.
  4. The website is linked with a trustworthy organization (e.g. public health, non-profit organizations, hospitals and universities). These organizations should regularly review the website to make sure it is accurate and evidence-based.
  5. The website has current information and the date of its last update is shown.
  6. Your privacy is respected. Websites should not ask for your personal information without explaining why and how it will protect your privacy.
  7. If you have follow-up questions, their contact information is easy to find.

Learning how to find accurate information is a useful skill. However, online medical information should never replace seeing your health care provider.

Remember, medical advice should be given based on a full assessment of your personal health and goals.

If you have questions about preconception planning or pregnancy, speak to your Health Care Provider or a Public Health Nurse through e-Chat or 416-338-7600.

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