New reports have shown that many parents don’t tell their child’s doctor about alternative or complementary medicine use. From a report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP),  these parents often try unconventional treatments and purposely refrain from telling their child’s doctor about their methods for fear of negative repercussions. However, refraining from telling your child’s pediatrician about complementary therapy use could be hazardous, especially if your child is already taking traditional prescription medications, the report authors warn.

 

It is important to discuss with parents the need for safe and proper use of alternative medicine.

Alternative or complementary medicine refers to treatments that are not considered part of traditional Western medicine, such as herbal remedies, dietary supplements, acupuncture, or homeopathy. “The point we’re making in this report is that many of our young patients are already using these [complementary] therapies,” said lead author Dr. Hilary McClafferty. ” …  much of that use is driven by the consumer, [and] by parents looking for additional help for their children.”

 

More parents are consulting Google instead of calling their child’s doctor.

Parents should know the facts about how natural products are regulated by the FDA. And how mixing supplements with prescription medication may cause unwanted interactions.

 

Consult a doctor even when using alternative treatments in children.

While acupuncture, meditation, and yoga have a large body of evidence to support their efficacy in children, some supplements treatments may not and should be discussed with a doctor.

To learn more about complementary or alternative treatments within pediatrics, read our full report on “Pediatric Integrative Medicine” and a summary from ConsumerAffairs Here. Pediatric integrative medicine is a rapidly evolving field with the great potential to improve the quality of preventive health in children and expand treatment options for children living with chronic disease. This book, Integrative Pediatrics, provides an up-to-date, clear, and evidence-based overview of the field.