Keep calm and read on: How pediatric web content can help anxious parents

by Laura DiGiulio

In six weeks, I’m going to have a baby girl. My first baby. And as much as I like to think I won’t be one of those “overbearing” moms — let’s face it — I probably will be (at least a little bit). I have no idea how I will react the first time my little one is ill, but the pediatric websites I visit better be sure they have some good information — for me and all other moms and loved ones out there.

According to this study, 50 percent of people search the Internet for information prior to seeing a physician, and this percentage increases to 70 percent or more when it comes to parents — and especially mothers — when seeking information on their child or infant.

When a child is sick or injured, parents and loved ones can feel understandably anxious and worried. Pediatric hospitals can communicate in such a way that makes parents feel more calm and rest assured.

How can you make sure you help parents get peace of mind when visiting your pediatric hospital’s site? Below are some tips we use:

  • Answer questions. As a parent is perusing your website, a string of questions runs through their head: What is wrong with my child? Will they be okay? What treatments are available? Make sure these questions are answered within your content.
  • Write in plain, simple language and get to the point. No one wants to sift through a bunch of information when they are feeling anxious. Nor, do they want to search Google to define complex terms. Make sure your content is clear, to the point, and written at about an 8th grade reading level, to get information to parents quickly.
  • Include testimonials and stories from other parents and patients. Knowing that others have been through similar situations at your hospital and had a great experience can be comforting. Include short testimonials on each page, or have a patient story section of your website, to help parents feel at ease.

Have any other tips? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.



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