Posts for category: Kids Children
To Your Health
January, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 01)
By Editorial Staff
If you haven't already tuned out any conversation about giving your children cough and cold medication when they're under the weather, this should do it. The Food and Drug Administration has strengthened its warning on prescription cold medicine, stating that no product containing opioid ingredients such as hydrocodone or codeine should be given to children – of any age. That's ages 0-17, in case you're wondering.
New language being added to warning labels on all prescription cold medicines will indicate that the risks of using the products outweigh the benefits in children and should only be used by adults ages 18 and older.
What about over-the-counter cold medication? Well, in the past decade, the FDA has already issued several warnings and required language to be added to labels limiting their use in kids. In fact, a consumer update on the FDA website titled "Most Young Children With a Cough or Cold Don't Need Medicine" makes its position abundantly clear, especially for the youngest (ages 2 and under); while a 2016 update, "Use Caution When Giving Cough and Cold Products to Kids," offers additional safety information and includes alternative treatments that may work better.
What alternative treatments? The FDA mentions cool mist humidifiers, saline nose drops / spray, and drinking plenty of liquids among the nondrug options. We would be remiss if we didn't add honey; such a simple remedy often overlooked by parents rushing to the drugstore for a quick fix to their child's discomfort. For example, a Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine study found that children given buckwheat honey before bed coughed less and slept better than children who didn't receive honey. And other research suggest zinc lozenges may be effective for resolving cold symptoms in children and adults, particularly if taken within close proximity to the arrival of symptoms.
Your doctor can tell you more about the dangers of over-the-counter and prescription cold medicine and why natural alternatives are safer, effective options for you and your child.
In the U.S., there are a minimum of 300,000 sport-related concussions per year. If your child is in contact sports, there’s a risk of the contact ending up in a concussion. In fact, research suggests that the number of documented cases of concussions among children is on the rise, and is a source of growing concern among soccer and football players.
Chiropractors may not be the first medical professional you imagine when it comes to concussion management, but many chiropractors are trained to spot the signs of a mild traumatic brain injury and support the patient in a successful recovery. Two recent literature reviews outlined how chiropractors can effectively manage athletes with concussions.
Is Chiropractic Treatment Valid for Concussion?
Chiropractors are often the first healthcare provider to care for patients who are suffering from a head injury, such as those incurred in sports or car accidents. Chiropractors, especially ones who are certified additionally by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians, regularly manage athletes who suffer from concussions.
Chiropractors use a specific assessment tool called the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) to evaluate, assess, and manage concussions in athletes 10 years and older with the end goal of safely returning the athlete back to the sport. This assessment tool is used to evaluate symptoms, physical signs, Glasgow Coma Scale, sideline assessment using Maddocks score, cognitive assessment, balance, and coordination. Vomiting Blurred Vision Stumbling Increased Confusion Unconsciousness Dilated Pupils Weakness in on arm/leg Worsening Headaches
They understand that if certain symptoms are indicators that the neurological symptoms are worsening:
- Vomiting Blurred
- Vision Stumbling
- Increased Confusion
- Dilated Pupils
- Weakness in on arm/leg
- Worsening Headaches
Because a concussion is a brain injury caused by a direct blow to the head, neck or face, there’s a good chance that the blow has caused a misalignment of the cervical spine. This is similar to whiplash causing a misalignment of the cervical spine. A chiropractor can evaluate whether you demonstrate signs of neck injuries commonly associated with concussions, and provide you with relief from neck pain and cervicogenic headaches.
According to the literature reviews, one of the most important recommendations that a chiropractor will tell you what to do for concussion is this: If your child is in sports and suffers a blow to the head, and/or experiences signs of a concussion, do not let him continue playing the sport. He or she needs to rest until totally healed from the concussion. Only after symptoms subside is it time to get back into the game. Ease into the sports play again. Don’t expect to jump back in, full force. This will prevent the return of symptoms.
Additional guidelines your chiropractor will give you for concussion include no alcohol, aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, and sleep agents should be taken. Use Tylenol for pain if necessary. Do not drive until you can return to the sport.
In the meantime, your chiropractor will care for your child’s cervical spine and condition. If your child needs to be referred out to another health professional, your chiropractor will let you know.
Now let’s ask the question again. Chiropractic care for concussion? Absolutely?
Chiropractors can help with a range of other sports injuries, and one study even found that it was the most effective conservative method for reducing sports-related back pain.
Johnson, C.D., et al. Chiropractic and concussion in sport: a narrative review of the literature.Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12):216-229.
Shane, E.R., et al. Sports Chiropractic management of concussions using the Sports Concussion Assessment Tool 2 symptom scoring, serial examinations, and graded return to play protocol: a retrospective case series. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2013 (12): 252-9.
By Editorial Staff
As you may have noticed, research over the past few years has begun to reveal that acetaminophen (the primary ingredient in Tylenol) is not as safe as once thought. A new study (published in the Journal of the AMA – Pediatrics) has shown an association between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and the "risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children."
Researchers found that "children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, use of ADHD medications, or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years. Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy." They ultimately conclude: "Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children."
What makes this study so profound is that acetaminophen is probably one of the most commonly used / prescribed drugs for pain and fever during pregnancy. According to the FDA, "in 2005, consumers purchased more than 28 billion doses of products containing acetaminophen." A "hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination product has been the most frequently prescribed drug since 1997."
All drugs have side effects. In this case, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) has been heavily marketed to the American public since the early 1950s. Children's Tylenol was first marketed in 1955. Now, more than 60 years later, we are still learning about new adverse reactions, ones that our children's children will be stricken with for decades.
Unlike a decade ago, there is currently a continuous stream of studies that demonstrate the association between the use of various drugs and numerous harmful adverse reactions. Television ads by law firms confirm the frequency of these findings.
The frightening reality is it will not be long before you know the mother of an ADHD child who took Tylenol while pregnant, or hear of a woman who overdosed on prescribed pain drugs. Sadly, serious drug-related adversity is already happening in your community. Don't be a victim. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for more information on drug-free solutions.
What does soda have to do with your child's aggressive behavior? Quite a lot, according to a new study.
Researchers recently found that children who consumed soda tended to measure higher on scales that measure aggressive behavior than kids who do not drink soda.
The study published by The Journal of Pediatrics was cautious to blame soda entirely for aggressive behavior, but it did make a connection.
Researchers used an existing study of mothers and their 2,929 children from 20 large U.S. cities. The mothers and children were first recruited between 1998 and 2000 to be periodically interviewed and evaluated.
According to the study, mothers completed a checklist on children's behaviors over the previous two months to measure withdrawal, attention and aggression. The mothers were also asked how many servings of soda their children drank per day and about other habits such as TV watching. Overall, 43 percent of the kids drank at least one soda per day and 4 percent drank four or more servings.
Aggressive behavior was measured on a scale between 0 and 100 - with higher scores indicating more aggression. Kids who reportedly drank no soda scored 56 on the aggression scale, on average. That compared to 57 among kids who drank one serving per day, 58 among those who drank two servings, 59 among those who drank three servings and 62 for four soda servings or more per day. Researchers found that drinking two or four or more servings of soda per day was tied to higher aggression scores. Overall, kids who drank four or more servings of soda per day were twice as likely to destroy other people's belongings, get into fights and physically attack people, compared to children who didn't drink soda, according to the study.
Stick to healthy beverages for your child such as water to stay hydrated. Water is all natural with no potential side effects on behavior.