Although not as much research has been done on chiropractic care for children as on the benefits of chiropractic care for adults, there are still many proponents of pediatric chiropractic, including many well-respected chiropractors. Whether or not you choose chiropractic care for your child is entirely up to you as the parent, so you'll have to make the best-informed decision you can with the information that's currently available. Some parents feel it's not worth the risk, since it's not known for sure exactly how chiropractic care affects children (and children are more vulnerable in some ways than adults, especially because their musculoskeletal systems are still in development). Other parents have seen huge benefits for their own children that have been gained from chiropractic care. Here are some pros and cons to consider when you're making this important decision for your family.
Because chiropractic adjustments are done entirely through manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, they're medically very non-invasive. They don't require IVs, hospitalization, or medications with frightening side effects. If your child does have a health problem that chiropractic care has been shown to improve, such as a back pain problem, avoiding the problems that conventional treatments sometimes cause can be a big deciding factor.
Boosting immune system
Chiropractic care has been shown to boost the immune system, at least in adults. If the results are similar in children, then regular chiropractic visits could not only reduce back pain and other spine-related problems but also help your child avoid or at least recover quickly from seasonal colds and flu.
Improving behavioral symptoms
Many childhood health issues include behavioral problems. ADHD, for example, can be a real trial for both parents and the child it affects. If your child is helped by chiropractic care, especially if other treatments have proven less successful than hoped, this could be a big point in its favor.
Lack of solid scientific studies
Although they're not entirely lacking, scientific studies showing how chiropractic care affects children are very sparse. You can't look at the studies to know for sure that there's no way chiropractic care will hurt your children. In this way it does present something of a risk. It's not exactly untested but it's not thoroughly tested, and so chiropractors may not have all the information about how their treatments are affecting these young patients.
Not all insurance programs are equipped to pay for pediatric chiropractic care, because it's not a mainstream treatment. So you may end up having to pay for it out-of-pocket, which many Americans aren't financially able to do.
As you can see, chiropractic care for children isn't the same as it is for adults. Although much benefit may be involved, there may also be risk, so each family has to make their own decision about whether the possible benefits are worth it.