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MedlinePlus – Children’s Health

MedlinePlus - Children's Health is starting point for learning about pediatric health & wellness, especially well-child care. There is information about common pediatric symptoms and problems. The topics covered have appropriate depth for the general reader, the site is otherwise inadequate to cover such a large subject as pediatrics. Use of a comprehensive pediatric or general health site would be preferred

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Review Date: 4/15/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The section is a page with a brief summary of child health and numerous links to additional information. There are also right-hand lists that allow access to the medical encyclopedia and other topics related to children. Because the unique nature of MedlinePlus, with its many links to outside resources, users must constantly jump from this site to others and then back again; the resulting navigation can be tedious.

Visual Design

This landing page is a little more engaging with a picture and different menus. The information is much more organized than other sections that allows for easier navigation. MedlinePlus already features a dull graphic design; this page brings the quality down to the most basic level.

Quality

Users will find adequate information about children's health & wellness, but little depth in other areas of pediatrics. The materials assembled here come from a wide variety of sources, most of them from high quality perspectives. Not all pages are fleshed out with the same depth, but overall this is a small complaint given the wealth of information.

Credibility

MedlinePlus clearly identifies the organizations responsible for the content, which include the American Academy of Pediatrics, Nemours Foundation, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Users will find that the medical encyclopedia topics have the highest reliability by listing reviewers and date of last review. Although MedlinePlus does a great job updating it's pages regularly, the currency of linked sites varies, and individual authors/editors of each topic page are not identified & only occasionally credited on the linked sites.

Pros

  1. Access to reliable and up-to-date information about health & wellness for neonates, infants, and children, including well-child visits, development, diet, exercise, safety
  2. Puts users in touch with tools and resource guides that cover some of the common topics in pediatrics
  3. Highly credible website with backing from the U.S. government and relying on materials generated by authoritative organizations

Cons

  1. The considerable amount of information is not organized in a way to easily allow users to locate specific information
  2. Aside from well-child care, the site lacks the depth to meet the users needs
  3. User-friendliness of materials vary depending on the linked website

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The U.S. National Library of Medicine, The National Institutes of Health

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Health check tools, patient handouts, links to research, online pediatrician finder, medical encyclopedia with helpful descriptions of some pediatric conditions

Languages: English, Spanish

Contact: custserv@nlm.nih.gov

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