herbs for kids

  1. would you give herbs to a child that is 12 years old?
    tonite my stepson came in and asked his dad for some melatonin. apparently his aunt (a nurse) used to give them to him. i suppose his dad did too.
    im kinda wondering what he thinks they do for him.
    this kid is always asking for tylenol for headaches and something to make his muscles stop hurting and vitamins.
    i just dont think this is normal for a 12 year old and im wondering what kind of effect herbs have on kids.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   kewlnurse
    i'm sure i'll get flamed for this but it must be said; herbs are bad, period.
  4. by   NRSKarenRN
    Having had two sons just go thru puberty with growing aches, your stepsons complaints are not out of line. Herbs should be used with caution due to differeing effect based on body size. Need doctor's advice.
  5. by   debbyed
    As a person who is able to function productively through the use of various vit/herbs for several medical problems I am whole heartedly behind the use of holistic medicine.

    HOWEVER: with that said I also don't use or combind anything with out discussing it with my physician first. We do a lot of research and consultation with specialists in fields associated with my medical problems.

    THEREFORE: Talk with you childs peditrician. He needs to rule out any medical conditions that may be present that would account for sleep disturbances in a child so young. Follow the Peditricians lead. Many of the herbal preparations have untoward effects on children so get advice before giving anything other than an occasional Tylenol or Motrin.
  6. by   thisnurse
    thanks for your responses.
    having raised kids i realize that growing pains are real. the tylenol doesnt bother me tho i will only give motrin for fever or pain that doesnt respond to tylenol. the key word here is occassional.
    this child has no sleep disturbances. the mind set here is that herbs will enhance your health. they are not being used to treat any medical/physical signs or symptoms.
    what concerns me is the doseages. i looked at the bottle of melatonin and there are no recommended doseages for children.
    there is no defined daily requirement.
    i never gave my kids anything but multivitamins when their diets were not what they should be and tylenol or motrin.
    i just cant imagine this being good. arent herbs precursers to medications?
    i believe in alternate therapies and i believe in holistic medicine when applicable but i dont think this includes children.

    personally, i dont take herbs. i dont see any reason to for myself.
    i dont know how they interact with any medication i am taking and its hard to find any clear facts. i just dont see the point...for myself. now if i had a medical condition i thought would be helped by using herbs i would try them.

    and i am concerned that this child is going to get the idea that pills make everything better. feelin grumpy? take a tylenol...feelin sort of blue? st johns wort. so how will this attitude fit in when he gets a bit older and drugs are a concern?
    dad is a recovered addict/alcoholic and mom is still drinking and doing the drugs. this child is already predisposed.
  7. by   nurs4kids
    I'm just like kewlnurse here, I'm not a big fan of herbs, so I may be a bit biased, but I'd like to point out that I HAVE seen some very negative effects from herbs used by pediatrics. Most of these kids already had underlying problems and their parent's tried to treat them with herbs rather than the route suggested by the MD. One child damn near died and will need medical attention the rest of his life all because of his parent's, in my opinion, negligence.

    Feisty, I bet the kid's hearing some herb talk at school or from other kids somewhere else. Talk to him, tell him they may hurt him instead of helping.
  8. by   BeachNurse
    I agree with those who say to use herbs with caution, if at all, in children. Obviously, these are unregulated substances and can always have contaminants or cause worse side effects in kids. Definately consult a physician.

    Some pediatricians do incorporate holistic medicine with traditional medicine, and can recommend specific herbs/dosages which they may deem safe for use in kids.
  9. by   thisnurse
    thanks all for your replies.
    i appreciate your input. i dont know all that much about herbs but i was trusting my gutt feelings.