As a parent myself, I place extreme importance on the developmental health of babies and children. My firm belief is that there is a window of opportunity during their early years of physical development to begin positive habits that will enhance their health throughout their lives. If these opportunities are ignored, then there is a risk that the child will become an adolescent and then an adult with a lower state of health and function than they would have had otherwise.
These healthy habits include good nutrition, correct sleep habits, brushing their teeth, regular exercise, reading and writing and a number of others. So where does chiropractic fit in to this model? We know that 80% of adults will suffer from back problems, and 25% will become chronic pain patients. This has to start somewhere. We see teenagers looking down at their mobile phones constantly, leading to terrible posture. We observe young children falling over and running into things all the time. It stands to reason in my mind that their physical development can be influenced by these factors, and that if we can assess and correct these minor problems, then we have a chance to prevent them from becoming major problems.
It is unrealistic to conclude that children will just grow out of all of their problems. For this reason, we support the decision of any parent to have their child checked and treated with chiropractic.
Pharmaceutical drugs carry risks that have rarely been investigated in children, and chiropractic is remarkably safe in comparison. In fact a literature review by AJ Todd in 2014 concluded that:
“Published cases of serious adverse events in infants and children receiving chiropractic, osteopathic, physiotherapy, or manual medical therapy are rare…..no deaths associated with chiropractic care were found in the literature to date”.
Techniques applied to babies and children differ dramatically to those used with adults, as their smaller body size obviously necessitates.
While this information largely relates to children presenting with musculo skeletal conditions, historically, people have sought help through chiropractic for a wide variety of non musculo skeletal conditions also. These include ear infections, infantile colic, bed wetting and a number of others.
Scientific research hasn’t conclusively demonstrated that chiropractic care is effective in resolving all cases of these conditions. However, many parents have seen positive results in their children anecdotally. Given that there is so little risk of any adverse events in children (according to the 2014 review), it is a reasonable avenue to pursue. Rest assured that if your child is seriously ill, you will be directed to the appropriate medical care. We encourage you to speak to our chiropractor in as much detail as you feel is necessary to enable you to make the right choice for the health of your children.
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