Nearly 25 Percent of Moms and Dads Say They Put 'Some Trust' in Celeb Parenting Advice

Filed under: Celeb Parents, In The News, Weird But True

Celeb parents

In a survey, 24 percent of parents say they place "some trust" in information provided by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy. Credit: Getty Images

Looking for a little medical advice about your kid? Forget turning to Dr. Spock and T. Berry Brazelton -- a growing number of parents are looking to Hollywood stars.

There's no shortage of celebs spooning up parenting advice, and it turns out real-life parents are taking heed, according to the findings of University of Michigan researchers, Time reports.

Almost 25 percent of parents surveyed say they place "some trust" in information provided by celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy bunny, mom and author, when it comes to the safety of vaccines, according to Time.

The researchers studied 1,552 parents of children younger than 18 in a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Most parents -- 76 percent -- ranked their doctor's advice highest, but 67 percent placed "some" trust in family and friends and 65 percent said they trusted parents who thought vaccines had harmed their children. Just two percent of parents trusted celeb parents "a lot," but 24 percent trusted them to "some" extent, according to a University of Michigan release.

"It's great that parents trust physicians as their primary source for vaccine information, but it's terribly concerning that 24 percent of parents have some trust in information provided by celebrities," Gary Freed, study lead at the University of Michigan, tells Time.

Freed says in the release that trusting celebrities and other non-experts for medical information is not healthy for parents.

"Even if only a fraction of parents receive, believe and act on misinformation about vaccine safety provided by these different sources, individual children's health and the population's health may suffer because of vaccine preventable illnesses," he says in the release.

Freed blames the media for giving celebrities such as McCarthy -- the most vocal star to have denounced vaccinations, associating them with autism -- a platform. McCarthy has written a book, "Healing and Preventing Autism: a Complete Guide," and speaks regularly in favor of chelation therapy, or the removal of heavy metals from the body, which she says cured her son.

"I don't understand why when a celebrity says something about which they have no training, that is reported more than someone who has done rigorous scientific training," Freed tells Time.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.