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12 Percent of Kids Use Alternative Medication

New study reveals surprising data about children's use of complementary and alternative medication.

Thursday December 11th - 11:08am

Nearly 12 percent of U.S. children aged 17 and under use some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), according to a new nationwide government survey. This survey marks the first time questions were included on children’s use of CAM, defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products such as herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic, and acupuncture.

The survey was developed by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Overall, CAM use among children is nearly 12 percent, or about 1 in 9 children. Children are five times more likely to use CAM if a parent or other relative uses CAM. CAM therapies were used most often for back or neck pain, head or chest colds, anxiety or stress, other musculoskeletal problems, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD ADHD).

The most commonly used CAM therapies among children were:
3.9% Nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products (most common: echinacea, fish oil/omega 3/DHA, combination herb pill, flaxseed oil or pills, and prebiotics or probiotics)
2.8% Chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation
2.2% Deep breathing exercises
2.1% Yoga

Read more about the survey results from the National Institutes of Health.

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