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10,000 American Children Under Four Prescribed ADHD Medication

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

DoctorA report recently conducted by the CDC reveals that over 10,000 American children under the age of four are prescribed ADHD medication, such as Ritalin and Adderall. Doctors and experts responded with concern for the toddlers’ safety, asserting that the ADHD diagnosis and medication have hardly been studied in children that young.

While the report, compiled by Susanna N. Visser, is largely based on insurance data gathered in Georgia, it also factors in private insurance claims across the U.S. The data suggests that 10,000 or more two- to three-year-old children across the country are prescribed Ritalin, Adderall, or similar medication. Some doctors agree that such treatment is justified in particular (and rare) cases, but many believe that 10,000 is far more toddlers than demonstrate the need for these measures.  Keith Connors, a psychologist and professor emeritus at Duke University, would “occasionally recommended [medication] when nothing else would calm a toddler who was a harm to himself or others.”

There is a clear call for cautious prescribing and non-pharmaceutical treatment alternatives  until the effectiveness and potential long-term impacts of ADHD medication is better understood in very young children.

Source: New York Times

Thousands of Toddlers Are Medicated for A.D.H.D., Report Finds, Raising Worries

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