The use of complementary and alternative therapy is expanding in all population segments, including children. However, the great majority of families using CAM therapies do not talk to their primary care doctors about it, and there can be negative consequences.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges families to disclose the use of CAM to the physicians so that families can be advised on the risks and benefits of these therapies.

Common evidence-based approaches that integrate specific CAM therapies into daily practices include the use of acupuncture for pain, probiotics as nutritional supplements, hypnosis and massage.

About one-third of healthy children use some form of Complementary and Alternative (CAM) therapy and 50 percent to 70 percent of children suffering from a chronic illness use CAM therapy.

“The concept of holistic care is important. Pediatricians should be family focused and concentrate not only on the physical aspects of health care but also on optimal health, which has to do with the mind, body and spirit,” reports representatives from the Academy.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics