Kids Benefit From Alternative Medicine Too

Not only are baby boomers taking advantage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), but a growing number of their grandchildren as well, according to a pair of British studies.

In one study, more than half of the children and parents interviewed in an Australian hospital used CAM and 41 percent at a British hospital. An interesting fact about this study that mirrors the results of another I posted last fall: Parents and kids aren't telling their doctors about using alternative therapies.

The same was true for the latter study in which researchers interviewed parents of 75 children who have cancer, cerebral palsy and inflammatory bowel disease and compared them to 25 healthy patients. More than half of the parents didn't discuss CAM with their child's doctor.

What's more, kids with chronic illnesses were way more likely to use alternative medical techniques -- by greater than a factor of three -- than the healthy ones, and five times more likely to use complementary medicines, primarily herbal remedies.

Due to the way some treatments -- both complementary and conventional -- interact, however, I urge you to keep your physician in the loop about any alternatives therapies you're using.

Archives of Disease in Childhood, Vol. 91, No. 2, February 2006: 153-158

Yahoo News March 3, 2006

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