CHICAGO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Low-income, urban U.S. fathers are trying to be good role models to their children, but they need more training in caring for sick children, researchers say.
Lead author Dr. Craig Garfield of Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, who is also a pediatrician at Children's Memorial Hospital, said the study involved 31 single fathers about age 31, primarily African-American and Hispanic, and many with incomes of $35,000 and under.
More than half the fathers reported modeling exercise behaviors and the fathers said they knew their behavior influenced their children's habits, so they try to set a good example.
"I do more vegetables, I eat better, I drink more milk now at the dinner table," one father said. "I don't drink as much beer now because, unfortunately, monkey see, monkey do. So, if I do things correctly, he automatically thinks that's the right thing to do."
However, navigating a hospital emergency room was more difficult to manage and one-third of the fathers didn't give the recommended dose of medicine to a child, Garfield said.
"In pediatrics we play lip service to dads being involved, but we could do a better job of working with them. They come with the best of intentions, but don't know what they should be doing, Garfield said in a statement. "From the first visit healthcare providers can encourage dads and show them ways to positively interact with their children."