Almost All British Parents Have Sought Parenting Advice On Social Media, Most Commonly Over Their Child’s Health


New research has revealed that over 90% of British parents have turned to social media for advice on parenting, with more than two thirds of the queries being health related. The query will go on social media before they choose to consult a doctor, usually because the advice is instant, although three quarters will eventually seek medical advice.

A brand-new study has revealed that British parents do not always go straight to the doctor when they have a concern over their child’s health, with the majority choosing to get advice from social media instead.

It was also uncovered that just under half of these participants (47%) had uploaded images of their children’s injury or illness to their social media pages.

The team at polled 2,354 UK-based adults, all of whom revealed prior to the survey that they had at least one child six years old or younger.

Participants were also required to have at least one active social media channel.

Initially all respondents were asked, “Have you ever been accused of oversharing on social media?” to which two fifths of the parents questioned (44%) admitted that ‘yes’ they had. Wanting to find out more about their social media habits as a parent, researchers asked all participants if they posted much about their children; it was found that 79% of respondents posted something about their child ‘at least once a day’. What’s more, 82% of those accused of over-sharing confessed it was with regards to sharing too much about their child.

Wanting asked what it was they were most likely to overshare around, the top responses were ‘my child’s achievements’ (41%), ‘my child’s feeding habits’ (15%) and ‘my child’s toilet habits’ (13%).

Furthermore, individuals were asked if they had ever asked for parenting advice on social media and, if they had, what kind of advice it was. Almost all respondents (91%) admitted that ‘yes’ they had turned to social media to ask for some sort of advice at least once. The most common advice topics included ‘health’ (68%), ‘punishment’ (54%) and ‘school’ (39%).

Those respondents who said they had asked for parental advice on social media regarding health were asked if they had done so before consulting a doctor, to which two thirds (65%) said that this was true. When asked why it was they asked for advice on social media first, the majority (72%) said it was due to having ‘immediate access’ to the advice from fellow parents which would take time to get from a doctor, whereas a further 19% felt it ‘wasn’t serious enough to go to a doctor for’.

Of the respondents who had asked for health advice for their child on social media channels, just under half of those (47%) admitted they had also uploaded images of their child’s illness, injury or symptoms.

Finally, respondents were asked whether the issue was resolved by asking for advice via social media; one quarter (26%) said it was, whereas the remaining three quarters had still turned to a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

George Charles, spokesperson for commented:

“Social media platforms are incredibly powerful and can be really helpful for parents; there’s a good chance friends and relatives with their own children will have experienced what you’re going through at one point or another, or can at least offer advice and guidance on what to do. The issue is when parents solely rely on social media to tell them how to parent – this can be damaging for a myriad of reasons, but mainly because your social media followers aren’t expert, particularly when it’s a health issue.

“If you’re ever truly worried about the health of your child, do not waste time uploading pictures that may embarrass them in the future, instead seek advice from a medical professional.”