Parents who want to maximize their child’s health should take a proactive approach in their growth and development. Here are a few major strategies that you can implement to keep your child healthy and help them reach their potential.
Understand that your child’s brain and nervous system control and coordinate every function of the body.
This includes the immune system and how the body heals and regulates itself. It is essential to make sure your child’s spine and nervous system are developing and functioning properly. The primary goal of a chiropractor is to look for factors which cause the nervous system to function improperly. Subluxations, or minor misalignments of the vertebra, are the most common cause of nervous system interference. Just like a pinched nerve in your neck can cause pain in the arm, organ systems like the digestive or immune system can be affected when its nerve supply is compromised. In children, the most qualified physician to locate subluxations is a chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics.
Recognize the warning signs.
Believe it or not most subluxations (spine misalignments) do not cause pain! Infants may show difficulty sleeping, breastfeeding or have issues with digestion (colic and reflux) and elimination. They may show a tendency to hold their head to one side or prefer breast feeding from one side. Without the language to explain what’s wrong, some newborns exhibit unexplained crying or a lack of appetite.
Toddlers may experience repeated ear and respiratory infections or chronic sinus congestion. Subluxations are often found in children who suffer from chronic earaches. An impaired nerve supply can make their middle ear and eustachian tubes susceptible to fluid buildup or even infection. Traditional treatment usually involves the antibiotic amoxicillin. However, a recent study showed that children taking amoxicillin can actually compromise their immune system making it twice as likely to have recurring ear infections.
Adolescents may experience asthma, headaches, bedwetting, stomach pain, hyperactivity, behavior problems (ADD) and frequent colds and infections. A common symptom during adolescence, especially in girls, is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine called a “scoliosis.” Alert parents may notice that a high shoulder or low hip make clothing fit poorly. Back and leg pain may be present. A thorough chiropractic examination can help detect scoliosis in its earliest stages. Safe and natural chiropractic care has helped many young women avoid braces, surgery and the psychological effects of this underlying deformity. Other posture abnormalities such as a tilted head, rounded shoulders or hunchback warrant a chiropractic evaluation.
Chiropractic is safe and effective.
Tailored to their age and weight, a child’s treatment often requires no more pressure than you’d use to test the ripeness of a tomato. A chiropractor who specializes in children uses techniques to make the child comfortable during their visit and insures there is no pain or discomfort involved with treatment. At our office, kids look forward to their adjustment and often run and jump right up on the treatment table. As a parent, it is important to find a chiropractor which understands the benefit of “early” chiropractic care and the importance of creating a warm and friendly office environment.
Know the role of exercise and nutrition.
Remember to set healthy eating habits and avoid foods high in trans-fats, refined sugars, fruit juices and processed foods. Exercise is also paramount in maximizing the health, coordination and fitness levels of your child. It is important to limit the use of television and computer so they remain physically and mentally active. A healthy diet and proper exercise will ensure that they maximize their immune system and brain function, provided that they maintain their spinal care and remain subluxation free.
A final thought: Remember, chiropractic care for children is different from that for adults. If your child suffers with any health condition or seems to be failing to thrive, he may greatly benefit from chiropractic care. A pediatric chiropractor successfully treats children with these conditions and more on a regular basis. Parents should add a chiropractor who specializes in pediatrics to their healthcare team.