By Efua Andoh (APA Public Interest Communications Staff)
What keeps you up at night? For many parents or caregivers, 9 times out of 10 it’s something to do with your kids. Have you ever found yourself surfing the web at an ungodly hour searching for answers to questions about your child’s health and wellbeing?
- How can you get them to sleep better?
- How can you help them deal with stress?
- What do they need to adjust to a new school?
The Internet is teeming with websites offering solutions, but are they backed by evidence? Well, here’s something that might help you sleep better at night.
InfoAboutKids.org is a new web-based clearinghouse created to disseminate the latest research and evidence-based guidance on raising a family and helping children. The site is designed for three major audiences (parents, educators and health professionals) and was funded by a grant from the American Psychological Association (APA) Committee on Division/APA Relations.
Put together by seven APA divisions, the website boasts information on children’s healthy development in four broad, overlapping areas: body, mind, emotions, and relationships.
- Body looks at health in general, typical physical development milestones, and common health conditions.
- Mind focuses on the development of thinking, language, and problem solving, learning problems and school-related topics.
- Emotions tackles how children and adolescents develop emotional well-being, some of the challenges they face in doing so and common mental health issues.
- Relationships refers to how family and peer relationships develop at home, in schools, and in the community.
InfoAboutKids.org has got you covered – from common parenting concerns such as addressing sleep difficulties, preventing drug and alcohol use, and dealing with puberty to more fine-grained issues like disaster-related stress or managing screen time.
“With so much information on the Internet, it’s really difficult to know whether what you’re reading is legitimate, effective, or backed by good science or best practices,” says University of Tennessee psychology professor Kristina Coop Gordon, PhD, of APA’s Division 43 (Society for Couple and Family Psychology). “We wanted to offer one-stop shopping and direct people to information that has already been vetted by the experts.”
The creators of the website, the Consortium for Science-Based Information on Children, Youth and Families, vet their content rigorously to ensure it’s based on quality research and free of bias. The website is also translatable into other languages for non-English speakers and complies with ADA accessibility guidelines for those with disabilities.
They also understand that information on kids’ health is a two-way street. That’s why they encourage users to submit feedback, recommend websites to be included in the clearinghouse, and suggest blog topics. Your input is important.
So next time, you’re up Googling frantically for info on your kid, do yourself a favor. Check out InfoAboutKids.org first.
For more on how InfoAboutKids.org was created, check out this Monitor story.
Image source: Flickr user Swaminathan via Creative Commons