One in 10 say they follow pediatricians' advice 'only occasionally;' most likely to ignore guidance on discipline, sleep, watching TV -- U-M's National Poll on Children's Health
Pediatricians regularly dispense advice to parents of young children during well-child visits, but a new University of Michigan poll shows that many aren't following doctors' orders.
Only one-third of parents (31 percent) said they follow advice from their child's health care provider all of the time, according to the most recent University of Michigan Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Thirteen percent said they follow the provider's advice only occasionally.
Parents from lower-income households (<$60,000 annually) were more than twice as likely to say they follow provider advice occasionally (17 percent), compared to parents from higher-income households (8 percent). Black and Hispanic parents are twice as likely to follow provider advice only occasionally (22 percent and 18 percent, respectively) compared to white parents (9 percent).
Most parents (56 percent) said they follow provider's advice "most of the time."
Parents were asked to choose the areas where they are most and least likely to follow the provider advice. Among parents who follow provider advice only occasionally, the topics on which they are most likely to follow advice are nutrition, going to the dentist, and using car seats/booster seats.
In contrast, these parents are least likely to follow advice on discipline (40 percent), putting the child to sleep (18 percent) and watching TV (13 percent).
"During well-child visits, health care providers give parents and guardians advice about how to keep their kids healthy and safe. This poll suggests that many parents aren't heeding that advice consistently, putting kids at risk for long-lasting health concerns," says Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H., Associate Director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the University of Michigan and Associate Director of the National Poll on Children's Health.