If you're a parent and frequently seek advice online about raising your child, you've got plenty of company. Around four in five parents say they look to social media to discuss issues such as sleep problems, potty training and temper tantrums, according to a poll conducted by the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

The Mott poll is based on responses from 614 parents with at least one child aged 0-4. The findings show that most mothers, and over two-thirds of fathers of children these ages, use social media either for advice on parenting or to share their personal experiences. This is a pretty sizeable jump from a previous Mott poll that considered the same issues in 2015.

There are parents who share information that is false or inaccurate either knowingly or unknowingly. "A good rule is, if you have any doubt, don't share it."

Here are the topics the survey found parents discuss the most online:

  • Toilet training (44 percent)
  • Child's sleep (42 percent)
  • Nutrition/breastfeeding (37 percent)
  • Discipline (37 percent)
  • Behavior problems (33 percent)
  • Vaccinations (26 percent)
  • Daycare/preschool (24 percent)
  • Getting along with other kids (21 percent)

“Many parents turn to online communities to exchange advice or discuss parenting challenges because it may seem faster and easier than asking a health professional,” Mott Poll co-director Sarah Clark said, in a press release.

More than a third of parents polled rate social media as very useful for making them feel like they're not alone and learning what to do, while a fourth say it helps them decide whether to buy certain products.

But checking in online is not always beneficial and may pose a threat to kids' privacy. Nearly 80 percent of parents also feel other parents overshare on social media by bragging about their child or sharing too often or too much. Meanwhile, more than 60 percent believe parents may give personal information that could identify their child's location or be embarrassing to their child when they're older.

Clark has a suggestion: “Families should consider whether their child may one day be embarrassed about having personal information shared without their consent; a good rule is if you have any doubt, don't share it.”

Clark adds, “Parents should consult with parents of other children in photos for approval before sharing them on social media.” Surprisingly, if privacy is a concern, only a small percentage of parents use their child's initials instead of their name or block out their child's face.

There's another concern: The polls suggest that there are parents who share information that is false or inaccurate either knowingly or unknowingly. And two in five parents admit it's difficult to distinguish between good versus bad advice on social media.

What's the take-away to relying on online parenting advice? “Social media is a convenient way for parents to seek information about parenting challenges in real time, especially in between check-ups,” Clark says “But it's important that parents identify reputable sources of information about children's health and parenting, and they consult those sources before attempting new strategies with their own child.”

For a copy of the Mott Poll Report, Sharing on Parenting: Getting Advice through Social Media, go here.