Watch teens explain the 3 steps to finding health information online
How do you find health information?
Teens usually start looking stuff up by typing their symptoms into Google. Instead, go to a trusted website like WebMD or Mayo Clinic and start your search there!
Check the website ending when you visit a new site!
- .gov means it’s a government website.
- .edu means it’s from a university or school.
- .org means it’s from a non-profit organization.
- .com is a commercial website.
Most websites today have advertisements. That is okay as long as they are labeled with the word “advertisement.” Most people don’t realize this, but next time you’re on the internet take a look at the advertisements and see if you can spot the label!
How do you know if what you find is true?
Compare what you find from multiple websites. If more than one website is saying the same things, it’s more likely that the information is true!
Try to figure out who is in charge of the website. You can look for an “About Us” page to read about the author. Its best if the author is an expert in what they are writing about.
- If they have letters after their name like MD, RN, or PhD, this means they are licensed and professional.
Just like in school, check to see if the website has a works cited page!
- This will tell you where the information came from and how up-to-date it is.
- Look for the words “information last reviewed” to see how old it is. Information from 1999 may not be as accurate as information from 2017!
Good websites should have an editorial or review board. This means that someone else had looked at the information before it was posted online. This is kind of like when you write a paper and have a friend edit it to look for any mistakes! So make sure that the website has a review board!
Make sure the website isn’t asking you for any personal information!
- If they ask for your name, address, birthday, or credit card number, be careful! This means they could be trying to sell you something.
Finally, make sure the website is stating facts and not opinions.
- We have all seen those websites that post about miracle cures or things that are too good to be true, like a pill that will make you lose weight or cure cancer. We know these things aren’t real!
How do you know if what you find applies to you?
After you find some answers online, ask an adult if they think it’s real.
- This can be your mom or dad, an older brother or sister, or the school nurse.
Also ask your doctor if the information is correct! Bring it up at your next doctor’s appointment or call them on the phone!
If you don’t like talking on the phone that is totally fine. Most doctors’ offices have websites like MyChart or something similar, where you can send your doctor a message through an online instant messaging tool. It is sort of like sending messages over Facebook or Instagram!
Doctors know that we all look up answers to our health questions on the internet, so don’t be afraid to ask them about it!
Test your new knowledge of these three easy steps!Try It!