Parents who are considering having their babies adjusted are often concerned about the safety of chiropractic for infants. Prospective patients and those who are new to chiropractic may find it odd to adjust babies, or they may fear that the adjustments could result in harm to their children. This can cause parents to stop chiropractic or to never start their babies, who will then continue to grow up subluxated.
Unfortunately, chiropractors are often unaware that this may be the reason why parents don’t get their kids started with chiropractic as infants. To help doctors overcome this obstacle, here are our top 7 strategies for communicating the overwhelming safety of chiropractic adjustments for babies:
#7 Share with your patients that the gold standard for evaluating the safety of a procedure is malpractice rates. Chiropractors’ malpractice rates are a fraction of what medical doctors pay, because what we do is safe. In 120 years of chiropractic, we’ve never seen one study showing that a chiropractic adjustment caused harm to a child, yet thousands of children are harmed and die every month due to prescription drugs and medical procedures. Many parents wouldn’t think twice about giving their child a drug or vaccine that has the potential to cause harm, whereas the adjustment has been proven to be perfectly safe, and moreover to provide tremendous benefit.
#6 It is helpful to advise your patients that, during the average normal birth, there can be upwards of 20 to 40 pounds of traction and torsion on a baby’s neck, before a newborn even has the musculature to hold its head up. If it’s a more difficult birth (cesarean section, vacuum extraction, or forceps delivery), there is potentially even more trauma and subluxation to the newborn’s neck. If you compare the amount of pressure applied to a baby’s neck in the birth process to that which is used in the adjustment (a few ounces to a pound or two, specifically and expertly applied), it demonstrates that if the baby made it through the birth process, he or she can get adjusted safely.
#5 Many parents have never seen a newborn or baby getting adjusted , so make sure you schedule the parents of the potential new patient for their office visit when other babies are being adjusted, so the parents can see just how gentle, safe, and effective it is. This is a prime time to get new parents in touch with established parents. Encourage these parents to share how much their baby enjoys getting adjusted, and the amazing improvements in their child’s health since starting chiropractic care in your office.
#4 Some parents will think or say things like, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” or they may express fear, such as, “It looks like you are going to hurt my newborn’s neck.” However, if the subluxation is present, it is detrimental to the newborn’s health and needs to be corrected. So teach parents how gentle the adjustments are. Let them know that, many times, the adjustments are so gentle that babies sleep through them. Once the parent understands the important value that the spine and nervous system play in a child’s growth and development, they should be afraid NOT to get their child adjusted. That would mean leaving subluxation in the spine that will compromise the child’s ability to be well for the rest of his or her life.
#3 Share with your new and prospective patients that it’s actually safer to adjust newborns than elderly patients, because babies’ spines are more flexible and pliable as opposed to elderly patients, who are more rigid and can have arthritic and degenerative changes.
#2 Depending upon the technique the chiropractor uses, an effective demonstration to put nervous moms and dads at ease about the amount of force used in the adjustment is to have them place a finger on their eyeball and let them know that a similar amount of pressure will be used in the baby’s adjustment.
#1 Communicate to parents with confidence and sincerity. Maintain good eye contact, and be congruent with your message. Convey how important and safe it is for babies to be evaluated and adjusted. Have a clear, concise message, and don’t try to be overly convincing or defensive—sometimes, less is more. Have pediatric pamphlets, posters, adjusting tables, and forms at your office that convey to the parents that it is a place for children.
Parents don’t always share their concerns out loud, so be aware of their body language, too, and use the Socratic Method by asking open-ended questions to begin the education process.
Remember, these tips are for skeptical parents or for those who have concerns. Some of these communication strategies will work better with one parent than another, so pick and choose which ones to use depending upon the parent’s mindset or orientation. When parents have been educated properly, chances are they will choose to have their child adjusted and receive the many benefits of chiropractic care.
We hoped that you found this weeks Top 7 list valuable. We are committed to your practice success, so if there is anything we can do to help please let us know. If you are ready to grow your practice to the next level join us and grow your pediatric practice with our Pediatricians and Obstetricians Referral Program.