Chiropractic Economics’ Point-Counterpoint, this issue on pediatric chiropractic, is where doctors of chiropractic and health care industry professionals debate the industry’s hottest topics
POINT: Pediatric chiropractic for age 2 and younger unsafe
Chiropractic Board of Australia statement, 2019, edited for length
Australian Health Ministers have announced an independent expert review by Safer Care Victoria on spinal manipulation for infants and young children. The Chiropractic Board of Australia has set an interim policy — Spinal manipulation for infants and young children to protect the public until the outcomes of the expert review are known, and a final policy is developed on the issue. The board advises chiropractors to not use spinal manipulation to treat children under two years of age, pending the recommendations arising from the independent expert review.
For the purpose of this interim policy, “spinal manipulation” means moving the joints of the spine beyond the child’s usual physiological range of motion using a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust.
When chiropractors do not have the clinical skills and knowledge to appropriately assess and/or manage a pediatric chiropractic patient, the board expects them to refer the patient to another health care practitioner who has the appropriate skills, or to co-manage the patient with them. In all cases, the patient’s best interests must be the priority.
The board and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency look forward to the outcomes of the independent review. The board recognizes that the practice of spinal manipulation is not limited to the chiropractic profession, and the primary consideration for the evidence review is public safety.
Counter-Point: Chiropractic care of infants, children proven safe and effective
Christopher Kent, DC, JD, Director of Evidence-Informed Curriculum and Practice, Sherman College of Chiropractic
For more than 100 years, doctors of chiropractic have been providing safe, effective care for infants and children. Sherman College of Chiropractic provides instruction in the care of infants and children in the regular curriculum, at the postgraduate level, and in advanced elective courses.
The sample four-year, full-time accredited chiropractic curriculum distributed by the World Health Organization includes pediatric care. There are published textbooks on pediatric chiropractic, clinical practice guidelines addressing best practices for the chiropractic care of children, and peer-reviewed research on pediatric chiropractic care. Such research is ongoing.
Misalignments in the spine may result from the birth process, falls, tumbles and stresses of childhood, resulting in interference with proper function of the nerve system. These are called vertebral subluxations. Doctors of chiropractic recognize the importance of locating and gently correcting vertebral subluxations so that the body may function at its best.
Sherman College of Chiropractic is committed to educating doctors of chiropractic who provide safe, effective, evidence-informed care for infants, children, adults, seniors and entire families. Furthermore, Sherman College of Chiropractic supports freedom of choice in health care, and the availability of chiropractic services for people of all ages.
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