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7 things pediatricians want parents to stop doing

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DENVER -- Taking care of a newborn can be tough. “It’s scary to be a new mom,” said Zoe Widder as she played with her little girl at Washington Park in Denver.

She joked she should stay off the internet when she’s worried about her baby’s health. “It always leads to you’re going to die, or you have cancer,” she said.

But joking aside, that is one of seven things pediatricians want parents to STOP doing.

Here’s the list:

  1. Stop checking the internet for medical answers instead of calling your pediatrician's office
  2. Stop obsessing over fever. “We know fever is the body’s normal response to fighting an infection,” said Dr. Kristin Woodward, an Englewood pediatrician. She said fever is just one symptom. For older kids, call your doctor if the temperature goes above 104 degrees and won’t come down with medication.
  3. Stop letting your kids ride their bikes, skateboards, scooters, skis or snowboards without helmets. Helmets can protect from serious head injuries.
  4. Stop asking for antibiotics when your child has a virus or cold. Antibiotics only help for bacterial infections like strep throat. “We know that any time we give a medication to a child there is always a risk of a side effect, or even an allergic reaction. We also know there`s a buildup of  antibiotic resistance if we use antibiotics too frequently,” said Dr. Woodward.
  5. Stop driving kids around without the appropriate car seat or booster seat. Serious injuries can occur if the seat belt does not fit properly.
  6. Stop taking your kids to the emergency room, unless it’s a real emergency or your doctor told you to go. It can be very expensive.
  7. Stop using cotton swabs to clean out your child’s ears. That can damage the ear canal or ear drum.