Doctor, is it safe for my child to drink tap water? Should I boil my baby’s water? Should my family use a home water treatment system?

To answer these questions, pediatricians must do some detective work, said Katherine M. Shea, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, a member of the AAP Committee on Environmental Health. Physicians need to find out the source of their patients’ water and the water quality issues in the area.

“I think most (pediatricians) ask if parents are giving their kids city water, bottled water or well water and ??? whether or not they know if it is fluoridated. We just need to expand that a little bit to encompass some of the other known hazards in water,” Dr. Shea said.

Getting information on local water quality is not an onerous task, Dr. Shea noted. A call to your local health department and water authority can net valuable information....

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