Acupuncture Safe in Kids, Study Finds

Treating kids with acupuncture is a common practice and generally safe, according to a new study.

“Like adults, acupuncture is very safe when applied to the children’s population,” said Jamie Starkey, an acupuncturist from the Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study. “And so it basically mimics exactly what is seen in the adult population.”

Researchers at the University of Alberta studied data from different countries spanning 60 years. They looked at the association between needle acupuncture and the different adverse events in children.

Out of 279 adverse effects, 253 were mild, according to the researchers.

The other 25 adverse effects were likely related to sub-standard techniques.

Adverse effects included bruising, bleeding and worsening of symptoms after treatment.

“Any of the serious side effects that they found were definitely due in part to the clinician’s malpractice,” Starkey said. “So, it was certainly somebody who was not necessarily the most trained. The take-home message is that it is absolutely safe in both the adult and pediatric world, but you have to go to somebody who is trained.”

The study was published in the journal Pediatrics.