Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Home treatments put children in danger

Research by the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has shown that parents had given more than half of their patients, treatments that are untested or have failed testing. In the majority of cases, the treatment was decided on advice from family and friends, not from anyone with medical training. What is more alarming, is that two-thirds of parents treating their children with these untested and failed remedies never discuss the use of the treatments with their doctor. (Links to study not yet available on-line)

This is a major concern as the various herbs, vitamins and other treatments can interact with real medicine. Herbs such as St John’s Wort and Ginko Biloba and some vitamins are known to magnify the effect of certain medications, while making others ineffective. It is vital for the health of each child, that doctors know what children are being given at home.

While we all need a certain amount of vitamins to be healthy, there is little evidence that taking vitamins in large doses is beneficial. In fact, with some vitamins, there is ample evidence that it can do more harm than good.

Several studies have shown a link between Vitamin A and osteoporosis. A 2004 study showed an alarming correlation between food allergies and children taking multivitamin supplements at an early age.

A healthy balanced diet should provide more than enough of the essential vitamins to avoid illness. If you are concerned that your children may not have enough vitamins, it is far safer to open the fridge and grab some fruit or vegetables, than to grab for a bottle of pills.

If in doubt, see your doctor first.

"There is only one truth. How we interpret that truth is called belief."
"The existence of belief does not indicate the prescence of truth"

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