I recently had an in-depth conversation with an inquiring mom about her kids and their struggles. As we continued to chat, her focus expanded. “You know, it seems like the health of kids nowadays is way worse than when I grew up…” She is absolutely correct. Across the country, there are steadily increasing numbers of “chronic” health conditions affecting our most precious assets, our kids. Take a look at some numbers from the CDC in 2016:
- 6% of kids struggle with asthma
- 11% diagnosed with ADHD
- 1 in 6 kids have developmental disabilities
- 40% suffer from allergies
- 1 in 68 diagnosed with autism and rising fast
Why is this happening?
Thankfully parents of this generation are starting to wake up and ask questions. What is causing all of these issues to explode?
And perhaps a more important question – What is being done about it?
Well, let’s start by answering that last question first. Truthfully, much of the same strategies that have been used for decades, with mediocre results, are continuing to be used. In short, more kids than ever get diagnosed with all these conditions, and in turn more kids than ever are being prescribed drugs to treat them, despite all the evidence that suggests otherwise.
This brings about another root issue, and a question we get asked frequently. Are the drugs really getting to the root cause of all these issues, or are they merely trying to cover up the effects (symptoms)?
Got a fever? Take Tylenol and bring it down.
Allergies and congestion? Take a decongestant and steroid-based drug to cover it.
Can’t sit still and concentrate? Take a stimulant medication.
Respiratory challenges? Here’s an antibiotic and an inhaler.
Here’s the reality. We have the most incredible health care system in the world when it comes to life-saving, crisis and emergency intervention. But in turn, we have perhaps the most inadequate and expensive system in the world when it comes to helping kids with chronic health challenges and disabilities.
The current prevailing system of health care has always been focused on symptom treatment. We believe it should be focused on system repair.
For example, if a child struggles with challenges such as autism, ADHD, and sensory processing disorders, what they really need is evaluation and care of their central nervous system, the system in which such challenges are rooted.
Chronic immune and gut issues should be dealt with by addressing the function of those systems themselves, rather than stuffing their symptoms. We need to make these systems work better by “boosting” them rather than blocking the signs of poor function.
“They’ll grow out of it.”
It’s a phrase so many parents have been told. Grow out of what? What needs to grow? Why is it not growing?
After nearly three decades of clinical experience caring for kids with chronic neurological and immune challenges, it’s rare that a child “grows out of it”. Instead, we see a change form.
- Colic and reflux issues in a newborn often become chronic ear infections and respiratory challenges.
- Frequent ear and sinus infections, with frequent antibiotic use, turn into allergies and asthma.
- Speech and motor challenges turn into behavior and emotional issues.
For years, we have referred to this process as the “perfect storm”. The reality is, kids are moving from acute phase of dysfunction to chronic phase. If we keep taking the same path with pediatric and family health care, and a “reactionary” lifestyle, we’ll keep getting more of the same. Study after study shows this to be the case. The health of our nation’s children is abysmal… 20th out of the top 20 wealthiest countries in the world!
This is not going to change with a government edict. It won’t change with enlightened thinking by insurance carriers. It will change when moms and dads say ENOUGH! It will change when families seek ways to pursue health instead of treating symptoms of ill-health. It will change when communities of people – with like minded thinking and actions that are congruent – take a stand. It will change when fear switches to empowerment.
This we KNOW to be true. Each of us has an inborn capacity to heal ourselves. You are empowered. Your family is empowered. Recognizing and working to RESTORE and GROW this capacity IS healthcare. On a daily basis, we see families who have been through the rigors of endless tests, therapies, drugs, and surgeries. And most of the time, when we sit down and really look at the WHY of their issues, we are the first providers that have given them answers, explanations and solutions. Drug-free and effective HEALTH care, designed to allow the body to do what it hasn’t been able to do.
If your child struggles with health challenges of any sort, we encourage you to seek the advice of a trained, experienced pediatric/family chiropractor. Our mission for nearly 30 years has been to improve the health and vitality of the next generation, to help our future leaders live to their potential. We only get ONE season to grow. One toddler phase. One preschooler phase. One pre-teen phase. One adolescence. These are vitally important phases of GROWTH leading to – hopefully – a vibrant, productive and fruitful adult experience. The data suggests WE have lots of work to do. Won’t you help us build a better tomorrow for our children? Share this blog with a family you know… a family just hanging on as a result of a child who is struggling. Let’s see if we can help them live to their full potential!