As a parent, we’re well aware of all the ways we need to care for our kids: keep them safe, keep them healthy, make them smart, give them responsibilities, teach them the ways of the world . . . . without embarrassing them.  And some of those concepts go hand-in-hand with each other. For example, keeping kids healthy can also keep them safe.

When children are born, we visit the pediatrician with scheduled regularity, starting weekly and growing to annually. Then there are the visit in between to address the common flu or a broken bone.  We work with our doctors with the promise to teach proper nutrition, hygiene and exercise. But over the years, “common knowledge” has changed considerably due to the environment around us.

Thirty years ago,  the average 10 year-old had an average day: wake up, have some cereal, go to school (where P.E. and recess were required),  have an after school snack, play with friends or go to practice and be home for a family dinner. Not so anymore. Children consume meals and snacks on the go that are packed with salt and sugar and other preservatives.  Families go out to dinner more, where portion sizes are nearly doubled! Not to mention the sedentary lifestyles and under valuing of physical education in a well-rounded curriculum.

However, there are certain areas of healthcare that have come a long way in the last three decades.  For example, the practice of writing antibiotics prescriptions for any little sniffle is all but gone. The medical community learned that prolonged or repetitive steroid use can lead to the softening of bones in children.

In addition, the practice of chiropractic care for children is on the rise for children as young as one year. Today, the International Chiropractic Association offers a postgraduate “Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics” (DICCP) and publishes the “peer reviewed” Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. The diplomate program is a thirty-module, 360-plus-hour classroom course that takes place during weekends over a three-year period. There is no hospital training and no contact with diseased or injured children—only a “mandatory observational/training weekend at a chiropractic center for special needs children under multi-disciplinary care” (ICA Council 2009).

A trend toward greater use of chiropractic by children has not gone unnoticed by the medical profession. An article in the January 2007 issue of Pediatrics (the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics) described chiropractic as the most common complementary and alternative medicine practice used by children, who made an estimated thirty million visits to U.S. chiropractors.

So the next time you schedule your annual appointment with your pediatrician, ask them about chiropractic intervention.  Then visit Dr. Fast at the Back Pain Clinic Belleville for a pediatric evaluation.