What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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“We wish to express our great concern over unscientific claims being made by Canadian chiropractors regarding the proper care of infants and children. These claims come from official statements from both the Canadian and Ontario Chiropractic Associations. Chiropractic treatment for such conditions as ear infections, infantile colic, newborn jaundice, spinal scoliosis and tonsillitis, amongst others, are being recommended in at least one major textbook being used at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. We call upon the governments of Ontario and Quebec, which have the only two chiropractic schools in Canada, to evaluate the courses being taught and the claims being made by the graduates of these schools regarding the treatment of infants and children. Contrary to the information being provided to parents and to the general public:

1. Chiropractic spinal manipulation is NOT required as a preventive therapy to maintain a child's health.

2. Chiropractic spinal manipulation is NOT an alternative for pediatric immunization. Books sold at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto are anti-immunization in nature.

3. Chiropractic does NOT alter the course of, nor does it prevent in any way, childhood illness such as ear infections, asthma attacks, bed-wetting, or infantile colic.

4. Chiropractic use of x-rays of infants and children to diagnose so called vertebral subluxations is unscientific and of no value whatsoever. These x-rays can contribute, without any benefit to the child, to the future risk in the child of cancers and genetic damage. Parents should never allow their children's spines to be x-rayed by a chiropractor.

5. There is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the so-called chiropractic spinal adjustment results in any correction to a child's spine. These adjustments are ineffective and useless.

6. School boards should not authorize, and parents should not allow their children to attend, elementary school screening programs organized by chiropractors to detect scoliosis or any other postural deformities in children. Postural deformities of children such as scoliosis, kyphosis, or unequal leg lengths are not effectively treated by manipulation. In the great majority of instances, what a chiropractor may diagnose as scoliosis in a child is in fact a minor variation in a perfectly normal spine.

7. Parents should regard with extreme skepticism claims made by some other parents that their infants or children have been cured by chiropractic adjustments for such conditions as infant colic, recurrent ear infections, learning disorders, asthma, chronic abdominal cramps, or bed-wetting. However well meaning, such personal testimony is unreliable and is not a substitute for scientific fact. Parents should read the June 1994 issue of Consumer Reports magazine in which the clear recommendation is made not to allow any chiropractor to solicit children for chiropractic treatment.

8. We understand the concern of parents in regard to ear infections that they may feel their child has taken many antibiotics or may require a surgical procedure. These concerns should not lead the parents to believe that chiropractic adjustments, which have the emotional appeal of being medication free or "natural" are an alternative to what may very well be in the best overall interests of the child.

9. We welcome the scientific guidelines of the Orthopractic Manipulation Society International, under which manual therapy can be given in a responsible manner to adults who may require such care. We welcome warnings made in these guidelines about the unscientific use of x-rays and unscientific claims about treating pediatric conditions. We would encourage parents to seek their own personal care from their physical therapists, physicians, and chiropractors who adhere to the scientific guidelines of the Orthopractic Manipulation Society International.

10. The musculo-skeletal problems of infants and children can be managed in a safe, scientific, and responsible manner by the family physician, the orthopedic specialist, the physical therapist, and with medical consultation, those chiropractors who adhere to the orthopractic guidelines.

11. We believe it to be irresponsible, and a total waste of our limited financial resources for the governments of Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia to be providing millions of dollars of public funds for chiropractors to treat infants and children. This public fiscal support gives parents the false impression that society endorses the treatments. We call upon these governments to immediately suspend all chiropractic payments in the pediatric age group, i.e., up to 18 years.”