Kids & Drugs

Chiropractic for Kids

The TAB, May 19, 1992
A Review

Mistakenly believed to be merely “‘back doctors’” for adults, chiropractors have always realized the benefit children receive from chiropractic care. The spine is the container for the entire nervous system, the system that controls functioning for the entire body. Any obstacles (called vertebral subluxations) to a free flow of energy along those nerves would interrupt normal, healthy, body function.

Though chiropractic does not treat specific symptoms, the improved immune system function that results in Childrenis effective against ear infections, allergies, asthma, and bed-wetting that emerged when a subluxation interrupted communication between the brain and the body .

These pediatric chiropractors are trained to adjust children, even shortly after birth, such that it may take only one, two, or three adjustments to remove subluxations and dramatically affect the future Health of the child.

Is there more information about Pediatric Chiropractic Care?

For more information, please visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.

Ear Infections

Children’s Ear Infections Soar Despite Medical ‘Treatment’
Health Watch, May 1997
Review

Between 1981 and 1988 there was a 44% increase in the number of preschooler ear infection cases in the United States. In 1988 the figure had reached 5.9 million, and by 1990 ear infections were the diagnosis arrived at by medical doctors the second most frequently. Potentially resulting in hearing loss, many believe that the medical community needs a new approach to treatment for ear infections. The Ladies Home Journal expresses this view: “‘A child’s ear infection offers a classic example of how over-treatment with antibiotics can lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. For years, amoxicillin – a penicillin-like antibiotic – was the standard treatment for acute otitis media. However, these infections usually clear, without treatment, in two or three days…Because amoxicillin has been so over prescribed, some ear infections that in the past might have responded to it no longer do. As a result, doctors are forced to prescribe one after another of stronger – and more expensive – medications. Furthermore, the stronger antibiotics are the broad-spectrum ones, which kill the so-called good bacteria as as well as the bad, making children vulnerable tosecondary infections.’”

Dr. Lehnert concluded form his study on the role of antibiotic therapy in cases of Otitis Media that antibiotics really only need to be administered in 5 to 10 percent of cases. Another available and overly popular treatment is the insertion of tympanotomy tubes into the ear. Though this procedure was used over 670,000 times in 1988, there is evidence that 25% of them should not have been performed, especially not when you consider the hearing loss and permanent scarring that may result from the procedure (which has not been found more effective than medicine or other therapy).

So what are parents doing in light of all this? They are focusing on Natural Health Care, on behavior modification, and on diet to help their children use their own bodies and body resources to stay well.

Antibiotics

Survey Shows Link between Antibiotics and Developmental Delays in Children
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter July 1996

A new nationwide survey of nearly 700 children is showing a disturbing link between children with developmental delays and the amount of antibiotics they have taken,

The survey, which included youngsters between the ages of one year an 12 years found that those who have taken more than 20 cycles of antibiotics in their lifetime are over 50% more likely to suffer developmental delays. Children who have had three of fewer rounds of antibiotics were half as likely to become developmentally delayed.

The 9 month survey began in June 1994 by the Developmental delay Registry, a multi-national database of 800 families, most of whom who have children with developmental delays.

The survey’s other findings:
Nearly 75% of the delayed children were reported to be developing normally in their first year of life
Developmentally delayed children were 37% more likely to have had 3 or more ear infections than unaffected children
Affected children were nearly four times as likely to have had negative reactions to immunizations
Affected children were twice as likely to have had ear tubes than unaffected children

Kelly Dorfman, a licensed nutritionist and co-founder of the Developmental Delay Registry cautions, “Parents should be put on notice that utilizing antibiotics prophylactically could jeopardize their children’s development. We believe alternative approaches to treating ear infections should be considered.”

The incidence of children in the United States with developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders is dramatically increasing. Conservative estimates show that in the last four years the number of children under the age of 18 with these disorders has grown from 4.8 million to 7.5 million. Included in these pervasive developmental disorders are autism, speech and language problems and multi-system developmental disorders. Symptoms range from skin irritations and sleep disorders to repetitive behavior and loss of language.

The ICPA for a number of years has talked about the abuse of antibiotics. This is another study which verifies our concerns.

A majority of the above article was reprinted from the publications of the Developmental Delay Registry.

Overuse of Antibiotics Real Threat
By Doug Levy
USA TODAY 4/28/94

“Crazy” overuse of antibiotics is one reason drug-resistant diseases such as TB, staph and pneumonia is on the rise, say experts in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.

Taking antibiotics “is not like taking an aspirin”, says lead author Alexander Tomasz, Rockefeller University microbiology professor.

“There’s vast overuse”, he says, “It’s completely crazy.”

Among germs resisting conventional treatments:
Streptococcus pneumonia, which causes pneumonia, meningitis, otitis media and about 40,000 deaths a year.
Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecium, leading causes of in-hospital infections; drug-resistant strains now account for about 1 million infections a year.
Drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis has surfaced in 35 states since 1985.

Another problem: use of antibiotics in the food chain – to stop diseases among cattle, fish or other animals – enables germs to build resistance.

Though it may keep both animals and humans from getting sick now, it raises the risk that bacteria will develop antibiotic-resistant genes, says Tomasz.

Over time,”the resistant gene shows up where it can cause trouble,” he says.

The experts call for:
Better infection control in hospitals
Increased monitoring
More Research toward new medications

But “hand in hand with meticulous infection control must go reductions in the inappropriate use of antibiotics,” says Dr. Barbara Murray, University of Texas Medical School.

Worldwide health implications of the problem are the topic at a meeting this week in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Over the Counter Drugs

Parents give Kids useless, risky drugs
By Tim Friend
USA TODAY 10/5/94

Parents often give over-the-counter drugs to preschool children to treat colds, despite the potential for harm and little proof that the drugs are effective.

A survey of 8,145 mothers of 3-year olds found 53.7% of the kids had been given an OTC drug in the previous 30 days, mostly cold medicine and Tylenol, says Michael Kogan of the National Center for Health Statistics. In today’s Journal of the American Medical Association:

70% of children with a recent illness got OTC drugs
Half of kids had been given two types of drugs
White, married, educated mothers with good incomes were most likely to give drugs

FDA’s Dr. Michael Weintraub says side effects are generally not serious, but there is potential for adverse reactions and over sedation.

Parents feel the need to do something for a sick child and in the process “become easy prey to… promotion by drug companies’” says Dr. Anne Gadomski of the University of Maryland, in an editorial in the same issue.

From 1985-89, 670,000 reports were made to poison control centers involving over-the-counter drugs and children under age 6.

The truth, she says, is preschool kids experience 4 to 8 upper respiratory tract infections a year that are caused by viruses, and there is no cure for these infections. They commonly go away by themselves in 5 to 7 days.

Attention Deficit Disorder

The Dangers of Ritalin
by Linda Rhodes
International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter September 1993

Do you know a child who is easily distracted by outside stimuli? What about a c child who blurts out answers to unfinished questions or talks excessively? How about one that fidgets or squirms in his seat? If so, that child may be diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD) and be prescribed a dangerous drug called Ritalin.

ADHD is a so-called “illness” described in the Diagnosis and Statistical Manula of Mental Disorders 111-R (DSM 111-R) , the handbook of psychiatry. The “symptoms” described in the DSM-111-R include common forms of childhood activities such as those described above, failing o finish chores, and difficulty waiting turns in games (APA 1987). Ritalin, an amphetamine or “speed-lie” drug, is prescribed to “treat” ADHD in children and adults. However, when this drug is prescribed most of the data given to parents about Ritalin is not true. Statements like “Ritalin has no side effects”, “Ritalin is not at all addictive”, and “Ritalin will help improve your child’s performance in school” simply are not true. Ritalin has many dangerous side effects and withdrawal symptoms, it is a highly addictive substance often accompanied by crime, and, statistically, has not been shown to improve the literacy of schoolchildren.

The manufacturer of Ritalin, CIBA-GEIGY, warns that the drug must not be used on children under the age of six. The long term effects of Ritalin have not been established and the mechanism of how Ritalin have not been established and the mechanism of how Ritalin works in the body is not understood. There are also many other warnings that should be known about the side effects of Ritalin. Among these are stunting growth, depression, insomnia, nervousness, skin rash, anorexia, nausea, dizziness, headache, abdominal pain, blood pressure, and pulse change, and development of Tourette’s syndrome. Tourette’s syndrome is a permanent and irreversible condition characterized by body ticks, spasms, barking sounds, and screaming obscenities. Chronic usage of Ritalin is also known to produce psychosis

In addition to dangerous side effects and withdrawal symptoms, Ritalin is an extremely addictive substance. Under Federal and Georgia laws, Ritalin isclassified as a Schedule 11 Controlled Substance. This rating of Schedule 11 is given to prescription drugs which have the greatest abuse and dependence potential. Other drugs which share this category with Ritalin are morphine, opium, methadone and cocaine. In fact, the DSM-111-R states that “the patterns of use, associated features, and course of Amphetamine Dependence and Abuse are very similar to those of Cocaine Dependence and Abuse.” The DSM-111-R goes on to state that experience users of amphetamines and cocaine are unable to distinguish between the two substances. The DSM-111-R continues, “One of the few differences between the two classes of substances is that the psychoactive effects of the amphetamine last longer.” Psychiatrists as well as the United States government recognize that Ritalin is an extremely addictive substance, although this is a fact rarely known by parents or users of Ritalin. In a 1988 article titled “Rx Drug Abusers Targeted”, the Akron Beacon Journal stated that Ritalin accounted for 80% of drug prescription abuse cases in that area. Reports by law officers in numerous cities across Canada recognized that Ritalin was responsible for more street crime than any other drug in a 1987 article in the Western Report. The article also noted that Ritalin was the street drug of choice all across Canada (Whyte, Gallagher, etc. 1987).

One would think that despite all the harmful side effects, withdrawal symptoms and addictive effects Ritalin would, in fact, help children to perform better in school. However, this has not shown to be true. Despite the drastic increase in Ritalin administration to schoolchildren since its introduction, SAT scores in the United States have dropped rather than increased over the past thirty years. Since 1963, SAT scores steadily declined for sixteen straight years, finally leveling off in the range of 890-900. The former average SAT score in 1963 was a 980 (Citizens Commission on Human Rights, 1993). Ritalin, which is currently administered to thousands of schoolchildren, supposedly improves he performance of schoolchildren. However, the decline of SAT scores and study upon study demonstrate the opposite.

No child deserves to be drugged in order to make them conform to someone else’s idea of what it is to be “good”; to sit still, to await his/her turn in games, etc. No child deserves to be placed on a drug with such dangerous side effects as Tourette’s syndrome and withdrawal symptoms of paranoia and suicide. There are alternatives to the behavior modifying drugging which is occurring to children all across this country. Many successful non-medicinal alternatives to Ritalin exist today. For further information on Ritalin or alternative solutions for handling children diagnosed with ADHD, contact the Citizens Commission on Human Rights at one of the following addresses: 6362 Hollywood Blvd. Suite b, Los Angeles, CA 90028; 1-800-869-CCHR or P.O. Box 1561, Snellville, GA 30278 1-404-518-8868.