Children and the Use of Complementary Health Approaches
It’s common for children to use or be given various types of complementary health products or practices; national survey data show that about one in nine children aged 4 to 17 had used some form of complementary health approach during the previous year.
There’s promising evidence that some complementary approaches may be helpful for children. For example, biofeedback, guided imagery, hypnosis, mindfulness, and yoga may be effective for stress and anxiety in children and are low risk.
On the other hand, some complementary approaches, including some dietary supplements, may be risky for children. Often, they have not been tested for safety in this age group. Children’s small size, developing organs, and immature immune systems may make them more vulnerable than adults to having allergic or other adverse reactions to dietary supplements.
Before using a complementary health approach for your child, it’s a good idea to ask the child’s health care provider about its effectiveness and possible risks.