The objective of this study was to examine the impact of medical professionals in social networks on the use of formal medical care for young children's minor illnesses. 795 Swedish mothers, with only one child 5-15 months of age, were randomly sampled. The mothers were interviewed by telephone and complete interviews were conducted with 92% of them. Of the 795 mothers, 84% had a relative or friend and 24% had a physician or nurse within their social networks whom they could contact for advice and support when their children became ill. No associations were found between the mothers' access to advice and support from medical professionals within their social networks and the number of formal medical contacts for their young children's illnesses. Similarly, no associations were found between the mothers' access to advice and support from lay persons in their social networks and the use of medical services for their children.