Is Acupuncture Safe For Children?

By: Adrian Cruce

Acupuncture for children is a relatively tricky topic and the truth is that it can be good. However, pediatric acupuncture is not safe in some situations. The truth is that the subject is tricky because of the lack of information about the topic and the misunderstanding of the differences that appear in acupuncture between adults and children.

A huge problem with acupuncture safety in children is the fact that most children out there hate needles. This automatically leads to fear and you need the child to be completely calm during a session. While kids can find acupuncture to be unsettling, we are faced with a practice that is normally quite safe. Various studies were conducted on the topic and you should be aware of the fact that in the hands of an experienced practitioner, acupuncture is completely safe.

What is very important and has to be remembered at all times is that acupuncture in general should only be done by someone that is trained. Knowing all that you can about the person that will handle the procedure is the vital thing that you need to remember as you consider acupuncture for children. However, in the event that you see that the child is not comfortable with the needles, alternatives are highly necessary.

While safety is high, studies highlighted that adverse side effects can appear in some cases. This is why you want to take everything with a grain of salt. The serious events that can appear in pediatric acupuncture include:

  • Thumb deformity
  • Infection
  • Nerve impairment
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The good news is that the negative effects are really rare. In most cases the negative effects are mild and include relatively harmless issues like numbness where the needle was used, nausea and bruising. Crying will also appear in many cases because children do not have the high pain tolerance that adults can have.

Using acupuncture in children is all about the doctor that is going to handle the session. A relationship has to be developed between the trained acupuncturist and the child. Talking during process and answering all questions is something that is really important. Make sure that you are never aggressive and that you do handle everything with care.

Obviously, most of the parents that will consider acupuncture for children already tried this in the past and the results were good. While this is totally understandable, it does not mean that the same acupuncturist that handles the adult treatment session will be suitable for dealing with children. It is really important that you always learn all that you can about the considered doctor, as already mentioned, and one factor of huge interest is how the doctor deals with children.

An alternative that can be taken into account is using acupressure instead of acupuncture. The removal of the needles will normally make the child feel better, especially when there is a fear associated with them.

The last thing that we can say is that you should never trust claims issued by an acupuncturist that they are well-trained. You want to be sure that this is the case, especially when having children treated.

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