When searching for child health, development and parenting information, it's important to go to sites you can trust. Before you use a new site, take a moment to learn more about it - be critical. The best sites will give you reliable information based on solid research evidence and professional experience with children and families. The tips that follow will help you decide if a site is reliable and will help you do more effective searches.
Why is finding reliable sites important?
You use many different sources of information to help you raise your family, such as your pediatrician, friends and family you trust, and teachers who know your child. The Web is also a good source of useful information, but not all of it comes from sources like these that you can trust, and some of it may be inaccurate. When you make important decisions about your children and your family, you want to be sure you have good information, so you can make good decisions. To be sure you are getting the best, most accurate child development, educational, or health information, check to be sure a site is reliable before you use it.
What makes a site reliable?
Reliable sites are created and operated by professionals and organizations who use the latest research and who understand children's growth and development. Ask yourself these three important questions to decide if a site is reliable:
Where does this site come from?
Always check a site's Home and About Us pages.
|What is this site's information based on?|
It is very important to know that the ideas, theories,...
|Who wrote this information?|
Qualified authors should also have advanced degrees...
How to improve your searches.
For best search results, use more than one strategy. It is important to be flexible. Before you search, think for a moment about what exactly you want to know. Then keep trying different ways to find it. These four strategies used together will help you to find reliable sites with the information you need:
|Limit the domain of the sites you search to .edu and .gov.|
A site's domain is the last part of the URL or address,...
|Use Specific Keywords.|
Use multiple specific keywords or phrases.
|Change keywords if you don't get the information you need.|
Be creative, flexible and persistent!
|Bookmark good sites and use directories.|
Once you find a site that you find helpful, bookmark it...
Print these Quick Tips for Finding Reliable Sites about Children
See Smart Searching to learn what makes a site reliable and how to improve your searches. Due to the expanding volume of information on the Web, parents and professionals... more info
Smart Searching was created by Nancy Martland, Ph.D. for MNParentsKnow.info. It is based upon concepts and research described in "Thinking Critically About the Internet: Suggestions for Practitioners", by Nancy Martland and Fred Rothbaum, published in Child Welfare, volume LXXXV, number 5, September/October, 2006.