Is Chiropractic Care Safe for my Child?

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Treating children with pediatric chiropractic care can seem like a big step and parents want to make sure that it’s the right one. Parents can gain confidence from the numerous studies that have been conducted to evaluate the safety of chiropractic care for children. The American Chiropractic Association stands by the assertion that child chiropractic is safe and beneficial. In a 2016 statement, they shared the results of relevant reports with the Australian chiropractor’s association. Some of the study results are highlighted here.

Rare adverse effects

Multiple studies have found no adverse effects from chiropractic care for children. A 2008 study followed 781 children over the period of three years. Over that time, the children received over 5,000 treatments at a teaching clinic. 85% of parents reported an improvement. Only seven parents reported any adverse effects and none of these were serious enough to last more than 24 hours or require a hospital visit. There is a risk of an adverse reaction to treatment, but it is rare and typically not serious. Even over a period of 115 years, a meta study found no deaths related to pediatric chiropractic treatment. Parents can relax knowing that the side effects, if any, are likely to be minor and temporary.

Effective for treating colic

Pediatric chiropractic care has been evaluated by multiple studies as an alternative for colicky babies. A 2012 study demonstrated that the chiropractic care decreased crying in babies. This study was blinded. Parents didn’t know which infants were receiving treatment. Therefore, the study suggests that there is a physical improvement from this treatment. Parents were not biased toward believing that it worked. Other studies have touted chiropractic care as a viable alternative treatment for colic. Parents may be able to reduce colicky crying with pediatric chiropractic care.

Often directed by doctors

Doctors don’t always prescribe alternative care options, but chiropractic care is one of the most commonly prescribed alternatives. The U.S. CDC reported that chiropractic care was actually the most common alternative or complementary care prescribed to U.S. children. A 2007 study suggested that many parents try chiropractic care for their children. About 30 million pediatric chiropractic care visits happen each year. Many parents are turning to chiropractic care as an alternative solution or as directed by a traditional doctor.

Parents should feel confident when starting a pediatric chiropractic treatment. Multiple studies confirm that treating children can be safe and effective. While adverse effects can occur, they are statistically rare. More importantly, these side effects are unlikely to send a child to the hospital because they are typically minor. Working in conjunction with a traditional doctor (or not), parents can develop a treatment plan that benefits their children.

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