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One in Four Parents Concerned Their Young Child Not Reaching Milestones

Most parents reach out to health care providers or child care providers for advice

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TUESDAY, June 29, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly a quarter of parents do not feel confident that their young children are reaching the appropriate developmental milestones, according to the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

Sarah J. Clark, M.P.H., codirector of the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues surveyed a national sample of 779 parents with at least one child age 5 or younger. Parents were asked about how they view their child's developmental milestones and where they turn for information or help if they have concerns.

According to the results of the survey, nearly a quarter of parents -- 23 percent -- said they had worried that their child had developmental delays. Most reached out to health care providers (63 percent) or child care providers (24 percent) for advice. But 18 percent turned to potentially faulty sources of information, including the internet, social media, family member, or friend. About one in three parents polled said they had compared their child's development to that of a sibling or a friend's child. Fathers (41 percent) were more likely than mothers (28 percent) to compare their children to their friends' children. Fathers were also more likely than mothers to compare their child to other children in the family (32 versus 25 percent).

"Nine in 10 felt either very confident or confident about knowing when their children should achieve most of their milestones, because sometimes we may have certain preconceived notions about that," Gary Freed, M.D., a codirector of the poll, told HealthDay. "Sometimes confidence is a great thing, but I think it's always important if [parents] have any doubts or any concerns that [they] check them out with a health care provider."

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