home
RSS
Kids at risk: Say something or bite your tongue?
June 13th, 2011
04:41 PM ET

Kids at risk: Say something or bite your tongue?

In addition to being CNNHealth’s Living Well expert, Dr. Jennifer Shu is a practicing pediatrician and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics. Today she’ll begin blogging regularly for The Chart on kids’ health.

We see it all the time—the 6-year-old riding in the front seat of a car, tweens biking on a busy road without helmets, young children in the neighborhood pool while mom sits yards away talking on her cell phone.

These situations make us cringe but it can be hard to know how we should react. Is it an innocent bystander’s ethical duty to approach the parent in the name of a child’s safety, or does society dictate minding one’s own business?

As a pediatrician I’m constantly counseling parents about their child’s safety and well-being, from SIDS prevention to proper nutrition and routine immunizations. Our check-up checklists run the gamut, covering tobacco exposure, lead poisoning, car seats, toothbrushing, risky adolescent behaviors, and more.

While most patients willingly listen to this guidance in the office, it’s my job to give them the information and their job to decide ultimately whether or not to take it. But when I step out of my white coat and into anonymity it can be difficult to see the line between offering potentially lifesaving advice and providing what’s perceived as unsolicited—and often unappreciated—criticism.

When a child is clearly in harm’s way, the decision is simpler, and many people would intervene to help. In the case of bodily injury, there are numerous requirements to report even the slightest possibility that child abuse has occurred.

However, more often than not we are presented with a child who isn’t in immediate danger, just potential harm, as a result of a parent’s indifference or lack of awareness. My medical background and inborn tendency to be outspoken lead me to err on the side of caution and speak up more often than not. I’m not sure this is always the right answer but it helps me sleep a little better at night.

Have you found yourself in a situation where you’ve turned a blind eye, hoping that everything would be OK, or did you speak your mind and risk a confrontation? If you’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s unsolicited advice, how did you take it? I’d like to learn from your experiences and hope you’ll share your thoughts!

Follow Dr. Shu on Twitter

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.


soundoff (960 Responses)
  1. sbobet

    I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i'm glad reading your article.
    But want to remark on some general things, The web site style is ideal, the
    articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

    May 11, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. หวย

    Hi! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the great work!

    May 11, 2021 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. ufabet

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article.
    Thank you for supplying this info.

    May 11, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Virgilio Linhares

    It's completely useless.

    https://antibabypille24.com/ovranette-pille/

    May 12, 2021 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. บาคาร่า

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article!

    It is the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Thanks for sharing!

    May 12, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. หวย

    Greetings from Carolina! I'm bored to tears at work so I decided
    to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the knowledge you provide here and can't wait
    to take a look when I get home. I'm amazed at how quick
    your blog loaded on my mobile .. I'm not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyways, superb site!

    May 12, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mode E-Cigarettes & Vapor Lounge

    Has anyone ever been to Vapor Head Vape Shop located in 407 Wilson St.?

    https://theeliquidboutique.co.uk/blogs/e-liquid-reviews/vape-review-of-hazelnut-frapp-e-liquid

    May 12, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Wild Blood Game

    If you want to obtain a good deal from this paragraph then you have
    to apply such methods to your won web site.

    May 13, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ufabet

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine
    Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but
    I'm not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share.
    Thank you!

    May 13, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. หวย

    Hi there! I'm at work surfing around your blog
    from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the great work!

    May 13, 2021 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Slot Deposit Pulsa

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!

    May 13, 2021 at 23:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. daftar slot online

    Excellent site you have here but I was wondering if you
    knew of any community forums that cover the same topics discussed here?

    I'd really love to be a part of group where I can get responses from other knowledgeable
    people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me
    know. Kudos!

    May 13, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. stornobrzinol

    I believe you have noted some very interesting details , appreciate it for the post.

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 14, 2021 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. หวย

    As the admin of this web page is working, no hesitation very
    quickly it will be well-known, due to its feature contents.

    May 14, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Google Casinos

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something which helped me. Thank you!

    Here is my web page Google Casinos

    May 14, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. หวยลาวออนไลน์

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I'm
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new to everything.
    Do you have any helpful hints for inexperienced blog
    writers? I'd genuinely appreciate it.

    May 15, 2021 at 01:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. cytotec

    ขายยาสอด ยาทำแท้ง ยาขับเลือด ยาเหน็บ ยาขับประจำเดือน
    ปรึกษาได้24ชม.

    https://buy-cytotec.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. คลองตัน

    ขายยาสอด ยาทำแท้ง ยาขับเลือด ยาเหน็บ
    ยาขับประจำเดือน
    ปรึกษาได้24ชม.

    http://www.9cytotec.com

    May 15, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Casino Online

    Nice answers in return of this question with real arguments and describing
    the whole thing on the topic of that.

    May 16, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Irwin

    Good information. Lucky me I fοᥙnd your blog by accident (stumbleupon).
    І haνe book marked it for lаter!

    Here is myy web blog :: Irwin

    May 16, 2021 at 16:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. slot online

    Genuinely when someone doesn't be aware of afterward its up to other people
    that they will assist, so here it occurs.

    May 17, 2021 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. indoslot88

    There is definately a great deal to learn about this issue.
    I really like all the points you made.

    May 17, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. judi slot

    Hi there, this weekend is fastidious designed for me,
    since this point in time i am reading this impressive educational piece of writing here at my house.

    May 17, 2021 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. judi slot

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back
    to your site? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my
    visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here.
    Please let me know if this alright with you.
    Appreciate it!

    May 17, 2021 at 20:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. home

    Heya i'm for the primary time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot.
    I hope to provide something back and help others
    such as you helped me.

    May 18, 2021 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sbobet cz

    I just couldn't depart your website before suggesting that I extremely enjoyed the usual information an individual supply
    to your visitors? Is gonna be back ceaselessly to check up on new posts

    May 18, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Andre Miras


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.