More American Kids Using Natural Medicine

For the millions of American parents, the search for safe and effective wellness options for their children is often overwhelming. From a simple ear infection to musculoskeletal problems to autism, the range and seriousness of maladies that can affect children is vast, often pushing parents to the limit when it comes to finding something that works for them. While traditional pediatrics still rule the school, new research finds that more and more children are receiving alternative remedies as part of their overall wellness plans.

The survey, conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that one in nine children receiving some sort of natural treatment including chiropractic, supplements, and yoga classes. About three percent of American children currently see a chiropractor for spinal manipulation, helping to treat common problems like colic, asthma, and ADHD. Research has also been done on the efficacy of chiropractic in treating symptoms of autism, and the results thus far have been promising.

While the number of children engaging in alternative medicines seems high to some, there are experts that think the figures may actually be much higher. Dr. Lawrence D. Rosen, a fellow researcher, believes that as many as 40 percent of healthy children receive these treatments and more than 50 percent of children with chronic health issues do. Since it was not clear how survey questions were asked and what certain definitions were, the results could be skewed. He believes that the new study should be a wakeup call to pediatricians, parents, and patients and encourages a call to action.

It is hoped that the current survey’s findings will help to initiate future research, especially on the effects of supplements on children. Since the most commonly used alternative treatment in the survey was the consumption of non-vitamin supplements and probiotics, there needs to be a deeper understanding of the ingredients and their safety. As more alternative therapies continue to grow in popularity among families, there will certainly be a shift in focus on these treatments across the board. Plenty of studies have been conducted on adults and their use of natural medicine, but there have been far less on kids. Pediatricians and families need to know first and foremost what is best for each individual child, natural or not.

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