IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE SAFE FOR CHILDREN ?
Yes! There have been several large-scale research studies verifying the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic care for kids. The amount of force used to adjust an infant is comparable to the amount of force you use to test a ripe tomato at the grocery store. Those of you with children know that they are certainly able to withstand a lot more pressure than that! Dr. Scott is also a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). She has a very gentle touch and will treat your child with the utmost of care. Learn more about Dr. Scott here.
WHY DO KIDS NEED CHIROPRACTIC CARE?
Bones model in response to outside physical stresses placed upon them and proper joint motion is need to distribute these forces for optimal bone development. There are periods of time when skeletal growth is accelerated(commonly known as Growth Spurts) during which balance in the muscles and joints is especially important. Just like the bones of the skeleton, your child’s nervous system is also developing at a rapid rate. The nervous system includes the brain, the spinal cord, and all the millions of nerves that serve every inch of your body and control most of its functions. Just like the bones need proper joint motion for optimal development, so do the nerves in order to develop optimal communication.
IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR KIDS THE SAME AS IT IS FOR ADULTS?
Although the basic premise for chiropractic care is the same whether the patient is 80 years old or 8 months old, the ever-growing and changing active little bodies of children have distinct needs depending on their stage of development. Generally, children respond much faster and more profoundly to chiropractic care than adults do. They have not subjected their bodies to the same years of abuse that we have. Another major difference is that pain is not a primary symptom. This can make it more difficult for parents to know when kids need to visit their chiropractor. There are certain “clues” that we can watch for to gain more understanding in this area, such as postural changes, only wanting to breast feed from one side, being off-balance, and running with a limp. As mentioned before, the amount of force used and the specific techniques utilized vary depending on the unique needs of individual children and what stage of development they are currently in.
WHEN SHOULD I START BRINGING MY KIDS IN?
It is never too early to bring your child to a chiropractor. Infants are often checked by the loving hands of Dr. Scott. The birthing process is physically strenuous for both mom and baby, so it is best to get them both cared for as soon as possible afterwards. That being said, it is never too late either! Children may enjoy the benefits of chiropractic care at any age or stage of development.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BRING THEM IN?
Chiropractic for kids will vary as much as chiropractic for adults. As mentioned above, it is often difficult to know when your kids need to see the chiropractor because they do not generally present with pain. To help with this issue, we recommend setting regular check-up visits, the same way you would with your dentist and pediatrician. These help catch minor issues before they turn in to major problems and allow kids to truly maximize their healthy potential.
Here is an example of our recommended check up schedule:
Within the child's first month following birth
Every 3 months for the first year
Every 6-12 months for each year after that
Other times to consider bringing you child in for an appointment include:
Major milestones (such as sitting up, crawling, walking, etc)
Any trauma or fall
If you notice signs of imbalance (limping, head tilt, etc)
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN A NATUROPATH HELP WITH?
Children are resilient and often bounce back quickly when they get sick. Sometimes, though, a little extra support can be helpful, especially when there are recurring complaints. Dr. Helferty enjoys working with parents and children to address the following:
Nutritional and developmental concerns
Colds/flus (both prevention and acutely)
Skin concerns (e.g. rashes, eczema, acne)
Ear infections, congestion
Tummy issues (e.g. indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating)
HOW DOES A NATUROPATH TREAT CHILDREN?
Dr. Helferty makes use of diet and lifestyle recommendations, herbs, supplements, and homeopathics in treating children. Lab work is sometimes indicated to identify nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, and allergies.