Monday, August 26, 2002

Mark writes "Now here's the point: since these [accident scenarios] aren't technically "health issues" until injury has happened, should pediatricians have any role in preventing them from becoming health issues?"

I agree with Carey: "Well, many parents look to them for guidance on this sort of stuff, and they're going to ask, so I think they're somewhat obligated to answer. The real question is what qualifies them to dispense safety advice outside the areas covered by their training? (Eg, motor vehicle restraints, car seats, etc). I'd say they'd be wise to get some materials to hand out on subjects like that, or refer them to expert sources."

There are several problems with peds branching out into safety issues.

  1. They don't (usually) have the education and training for it.
  2. Because of lost medical confidentiality, they cannot get honest safety answers from parents.
  3. Because of increased prosecutions of parents, peds have shifted into a more adversarial role.
  4. Questions of safety often boil down to risk management, and that requires a different mindset than that required for treating disease.

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