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chiropractic for babies

Chiropractic for Babies? Australia says NO, Canada says YES

Thinking of taking your baby to have their spine adjusted by a chiropractor?

Don't do it, warns the Australian Medical Association.

In a popular parenting page, Australian Medical Association (AMA) Northern Territories President Dr. Robert Parker urged parents to always see a doctor for any health concerns with their children, according to NT News. Babies and young children can't communicate about their pain easily, and any potential complications could be quite serious, NT News reported Parker as saying (it appears his comments have seen since been deleted from the Facebook post).

"The AMA doesn't support babies going to the chiropractor at all," Parker said in response to a mom's post seeking chiropractor recommendations for her 17-month-old, according to NT News.

"The AMA would be opposed to any unusual spinal manipulation in babies. We certainly would have some significant concerns about chiropractors and young children."

It's not the first time the AMA has warned parents to avoid the chiropractor. In 2013, AMA President Dr. Steve Hambleton outlined his concerns in an interview with ABC Radio 612, saying there wasn't sufficient evidence to recommend chiropractic care for children.

And in 2016, the president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners lambasted the entire chiropractic industry after a controversial video emerged of an Australian chiropractor manipulating the spine of a newborn. Dr. Frank Jones told news.com.au that the treatment was "outlandish," and that there's "no scientific basis for most of the stuff they do."

Canada's chiropractors say there are health benefits.

Pediatric care is within the regulated chiropractic scope of practice and is overseen by provincial ministries of health, the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) said in a statement emailed to HuffPost Canada.

"Chiropractors treat children of all ages every day across Canada and many times they are referred from another health care provider," the CCA said.

Treatment for children and infants is modified for their smaller frames, they noted, and it "frequently involves gentle touch and spinal massage, stretching, exercises, soft tissue therapy, and postural counselling." Chiropractors require informed consent from a parent or legal guardian before initiating a clinical encounter with a child, they added.

"Children and youth may benefit from chiropractic care just like adults," the CCA said.

"They can suffer from back pain and other spine, joint and muscle problems because of sitting posture at their computers, heavy backpacks, sports, and frequent tumbles and falls," the CCA said.

Chiropractors will refer children to physicians if a diagnosis doesn't indicate chiropractic care is required, or if other interventions are needed, the CCA wrote on its website.

Originally published in The Huffington Post

 

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