10 Signs a Chiropractor is Good with Kids
What are some things to consider when searching for a chiropractor for your child?
Some parents hesitate to take their children to see the chiropractor because they aren’t sure how to find a chiropractic office that is kid-friendly. They wonder if their child is too young. Maybe they worry that their child will be nervous, or they aren’t sure how well their child will “behave” at a chiropractic appointment. Possibly their child has special needs or the parent has specific concerns.
It’s usually best if the chiropractor has treated a great many children. If the doctor is quite comfortable working with babies and children, chances are, your child will feel much more relaxed when receiving treatment. But how do you find a chiropractor who regularly works on children? Here are some things to look for when searching for a chiropractor for children.
The chiropractor’s website features information about children. It’s usually a good first step to use search engines to see what chiropractors are in your area. However, when glancing through websites, you need to look beyond generic pictures of happy families. Instead, look for specific articles and information on children. Unfortunately, many chiropractors label themselves as "family chiropractors." This does not always mean that they are proficient at treating babies and young children. Does the information on the website sound current and useful? Does the website discuss concerns that kids have? For example, look for information that addresses issues such as: scoliosis, bed wetting, earaches, childhood asthma, autism spectrum, attention deficit, or sensory processing disorder. Is there information related to school sports?
Toys are present and clearly displayed in the office. Doctors who routinely perform chiropractic adjustments on kids will have toys visible and available inside their office. Why is this important? Because kids love toys! A chiropractor who sees kids every day will make sure their office is well supplied with a variety of clean toys. This provides entertainment for kids and their families which makes visiting the chiropractor relaxing and fun. Kids enjoy their experience and don’t mind returning for future appointments.
Social media indicates that the office regularly sees children and active families. Due to patient privacy, the posts may or may not display images of children who are actual patients. Search for information that shows this chiropractor adjusts kids. What types of articles have been posted? Do the articles discuss children’s health topics?
The chiropractic office has a treasure chest supplied with toys for young patients. Doctors who frequently treat children may have a reward system that involves small toys (balls, pirate rings, toy cars, small plastic animals, etc.). These may be used as fun incentives for hopping up on the chiropractic table or as a special gift at the end of the child’s appointment. Many kids look forward to visiting the chiropractor and selecting a toy to take home afterward.
You see children in the reception area while waiting to see the chiropractor. It’s usually a good sign when you see kids waiting to receive their chiropractic adjustment. Do the kids seem happy to see the doctor? If the kids have already seen this chiropractor before, do they appear to be relaxed and comfortable?
The chiropractor has kids of their own. While it’s not 100% necessary for a doctor to have children of their own in order to be familiar with children, it does mean that they have years of personal experience. Being a parent would have familiarized them with childhood illness, sleepless nights, and typical childhood injuries. Chiropractors who have kids are often more comfortable chatting with and interacting with small children.
The doctor gives their own child / children routine chiropractic adjustments. Does the doctor regularly perform chiropractic adjustments and manipulations on their own children? This not only provides the doctor with hundreds of hours of pediatric chiropractic adjusting, but it shows that the doctor actually believes in the service they offer. They will be especially adept at working with kids who are their own child’s age and younger.
Other parents in the community take their children to see this doctor. Ask neighbors, other parents, and friends from your church (or other place of worship) and community if they see a chiropractor. If they do, find out if their chiropractor provides treatment for children. Pick their brain a bit and try to learn more about their experience with this doctor. A referral from a fellow parent can be priceless and will often point you in the right direction.
The chiropractor is able to answer questions about childhood issues and health concerns. When you ask the doctor questions about your child, how do they respond? Is the chiropractor familiar with most illnesses, disorders, and injuries that affect kids? Do you get a sense that this doctor understands the needs that children have?
The doctor uses gentle chiropractic techniques and adjustments. A child’s spine and skeleton require a light adjusting style. Some practitioners use the tips of their fingers to work on tiny patients. Others may use a special chiropractic adjusting tool that enables them to be very gentle and precise.
The ability to work well with kids is part of a unique skill-set. Chiropractors who routinely treat children require a certain amount of patience and creativity. A sense of humor is also helpful when interacting with young children.
Children are not only smaller in size. They are different from adults in several ways. They wiggle. They fidget. They cannot be expected to remain still for prolonged periods of time. They laugh spontaneously. They are sometimes very ticklish. They have active imaginations. They like to play games. Children’s skeletons contain a higher percentage of cartilage than adults. Their joints are more flexible than most grown-ups. Their bodies also heal and repair faster than adults.
Children may not be able to easily express discomfort and pain. Instead of complaining when they don’t feel well, children may exhibit a change in their behavior, in their posture, in their appetite, or in their sleep patterns. It is important for parents to be able to communicate these changes with their child’s chiropractor. It is equally important for the chiropractor to be able to listen and correctly interpret this information.
Remember, just because someone claims to be a “family chiropractor” doesn’t mean they are proficient at treating young children. Chiropractic clinics usually have a specialty. A clinic that focuses on auto accidents, workers comp, or rehabilitation, most likely will not also be able to specialize in wellness and chiropractic care for children. Sometimes it’s necessary to go out of network, or to be willing to travel in order to find the best practitioner for your child. Children are precious gifts. They are worth the additional time and effort to ensure their health and well-being.