Parents, watch your tots: There's a new creep in the neighborhood, and it's not the local perv.
It's the family doctor.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with new marching orders, urging its 60,000 members to "screen" kids for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder starting at the age of four.
Kids who have the condition are supposed to be treated: First with therapy -- which is a crazy enough thought for a 4-year-old -- then with drugs like Ritalin if they still have even "moderate" signs of those attention deficits or hyperactivity... which goes way beyond crazy.
The word "outrageous" comes to mind. "Criminal," too -- especially since the powerful stimulant drugs used to treat ADHD aren't even approved for 4-year-olds.
Makes you wonder if these pediatric experts have ever seen a four-year-old -- because they ALL have attention deficits. They're ALL hyper. It comes with the territory with kids that young, and part of a parent's job is teaching them how to behave.
The new recommendations don't just extend to the younger kids -- they're also pushing docs to screen older kids, right up to the age of 18.
In other words, they're growing the market for ADHD meds at both ends of the age spectrum -- and that's what this is really all about: getting more customers for some of the world's most dangerous drugs.
Kids on these meds have been known to engage in bizarre behavior and even commit acts of extreme violence. One recent study found that patients on stimulant drugs including common ADHD meds were nearly 10 times more likely to commit acts of violence.
Imagine giving these meds to a four-year-old!
These drugs have also been linked to hallucinations and addiction. Put all those side effects together, and it's not hard to see why the kids who take them are also more likely to kill themselves.
There are far better ways to treat the signs and symptoms that make up ADHD in kids of all ages -- and they start with better discipline and better diet.
In many cases, kids have seen miraculous returns to normalcy by simply avoiding processed foods -- especially the food colorings that an FDA panel now admits may cause or worsen ADHD in some kids.
Bottom line: Kids who eat better, behave better.
Just remember that even the best kids act up at least some of the time... it's normal. Handle them the same way your parents handled you -- and I'll bet it wasn't with meds.
I'm not done with children's health yet -- keep reading for more.