We don’t see many children in this practice so you may be unaware that the Victorian Health Minister requested a review by Safer Care Victoria into chiropractors and the treatment of children under 12. This was in response to a chiropractor posting his treatment of a baby on social media and a resultant sensationalist front-page article in the Herald Sun.
The extensive review was conducted over a six month period by a panel of medical experts that included one chiropractor and the CEO of the Australian Chiropractic Association (ACA). The findings were handed down last month and in summary, found the following:
- In Australia there has never been a serious adverse event reported in the literature or in insurance claims, involving the care of a child by a chiropractor. This, despite the fact that there have been an estimated 12-15 million visits by children to chiropractors in the last 20 years.
- A call for submissions from the public was made as part of the review with the following outcome:
- 21,824 submissions were made
- 99.7% reported a positive experience with chiropractic care of their children.
- 98% said that chiropractic care helped their children, indicating improvement after treatment.
- 99.1% indicated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the information provided by their chiropractor about the benefits of treatment.
- 95.8% stated they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the information provided about the risk of treatment.
- 68.9% reported that they had also consulted with a GP about the problem.
Safer Care Victoria also reviewed the evidence for the effectiveness of chiropractic care for children and found that, like many medical procedures involving children, the evidence is sparse. This is something we are working on as a profession globally.
It is important to put risk into perspective, as chiropractic care for children is of exceedingly low risk. Furthermore, chiropractors are trained to modify techniques to suit age and presentation.
Safer Care Victoria recommended allocation of funding for further research to clarify the role chiropractic can have in paediatric health care. The profession fully endorses this.
Yours in health
Andrew Moulton, Frank Jowett and all of us here at J&M