Adjusting your baby: A WAFF 48 News Special Report

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - According to reports, there is an increased number of parents taking children to chiropractors.

17-month-old Mallie Hudson gets regular alignment from Dr. Laron Hardy. She visits about every two weeks. Her mom said there are a couple of reasons for the visits.

"It started out as constipation issues that she was having and those have really cleared up," said Ms. Hudson. "And now he just makes sure she's in alignment and everything to keep her in balance."

That balance includes typical infant maladies.

"She had problems with ear infections, and we have really seen a change and a difference and not having to go get tubes put in her ears," added Hudson. "This has been a great alternative medicine."

Dr. Hardy said he doesn't take the place of a pediatrician. Parents should still see their pediatrician.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents still use the pediatrician as the primary physician. It also cited a clinical report on alternative medicine saying additional studies are needed. Parents should also make sure the physician is trained for specific manipulations.

"There are actual medical studies that show that babies do respond well with treatment for ear infections," said Dr. Hardy. "Probably the most emotional thing that I treat is colic and colic is a big problem."

Dr. Hardy said his own child had a problem with colic. He went through special training to help with this problem. He said he used a treatment called CRT - colic release technique, which is a ten step procedure that parents can learn to do at home.

Dr. Melissa Young-King is a pediatrician who believes chiropractic therapies on children can be beneficial in several areas.

"Maybe that individual who has refractory or refractory infections, ear infections or colic, those may not be responding to traditional treatment," said Young-King. "That would be a way to bring in that adjunctive therapy of chiropractic medicine."

Dr. Hardy said manipulation can also help in the prevention of scoliosis. Scoliosis can only be confirmed through x-ray. He said it becomes a real problem once a child goes through puberty.

When it comes to choosing a chiropractor, as with other doctors, do your homework.  Check with other people to see who they use.  Each state has an agency that monitors complaints. In Alabama it's the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and Medical Licensure Commission of Alabama.

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