Parents’ poor judgement with CAMs

Experts are becoming increasingly alarmed by parents who are choosing to avoid conventional medicine and treat their children’s serious illnesses with complementary therapies.

In three years, Australian paediatricians reported 46 suspected adverse events relating to the use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), including four deaths.

The deaths followed the prescription of a rice milk diet for a three-month-old baby; the use of CAMs rather than anticonvulsants for epilepsy; dietary restrictions for a 10-month-old with eczema; and using CAMs instead of prescribed anticoagulants after pulmonary emboli.

Researcher Dr Alissa Lim, of the department of general medicine at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, said the significant proportion of life-threatening and fatal reports was deeply worrying.

“Our study [only] involved paediatricians… It is likely that other medical practitioners see CAM