These days, it seems like there is a pill for everything from headaches and high blood pressure to insomnia and anxiety. And not just for adults. More children are not only taking medication, but taking medication for chronic conditions. This means they often need such medications well into adulthood.
Part of the reason for such an alarming trend may have to do with increased obesity in children. As a result, more children are taking some form of diabetes medication because they either are pre-diabetic, borderline diabetic or have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. A study in Monday’s Pediatrics confirms the trend. There are many reasons contributing to what some see as the over medication of children.
Unhealthy Habits a Factor
There are numerous studies placing the blame on the increase of unhealthy habits in children. One study blames fathers for being more likely to give in to kids demands, another blames working mothers for not being there to supervise their kid’s eating habits. Regardless of who is to blame, the fact is that the increase in unhealthy behaviors at a younger age means that children are being treated for conditions normally seen only in adults. The best way to combat this trend is to adopt healthier habits.
Some conditions such as diabetes may be reversible if caught early enough, according to statistics referenced by the Eastern Shore Foot Center. A 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that children from 9 to 15 years of age were less active than previous generations. This recycles the blame game. This time the culprits include video games and the Internet. Regardless of who is to blame, being a little more active certainly can’t hurt.
More Serious Conditions
It used to be that the most common medication a child needed was antibiotics for about 7-10 days. Now, some children as young as five are being prescribed diabetes drugs. Express Scripts, which administers drug benefit programs for private insurance plans, notes the sharp increase in drugs that children will most likely need to take for the rest of their lives.
Once the cycle of prescription drugs starts, it becomes harder to do without them. Granted, some medications are necessary and most doctors do have good intentions when prescribing medications to children. Most physicians tend to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to children. Part of this may be due to the concern over litigation if an ailment isn’t treated or diagnosed soon enough.
The American College of Preventive Medicine cites reports in the American Journal of Medicine supporting such efforts. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, the most common conditions in children include:
• Autism Spectrum Disorder
• Celiac Disease – An autoimmune disorder
• Ear Infections
There is nothing wrong with trusting your doctor. However, there is also nothing wrong with getting a second opinion. In fact, most doctors encourage it. You shouldn’t take your child off any medications without consulting a doctor first. This could do more harm than good. Most parents don’t want to see their children become dependent on medications for long periods. At the same time, it’s human nature to want to keep your children as healthy as possible. It’s really a balancing act. The more communication you have with your child’s doctor the better.
Guest author Karen Boyarsky is an advertising copywriter who has worked on many clients such as Anacin and Rogaine. She blogs for a variety of sites including AccessRx.com a site where you can order medications online. Learn more about them by reading an Accessrx review.