More than 10,000 toddlers on ADHD meds despite guidelines

By Amanda Stewart,

A report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that more than 10,000 American toddlers are being prescribed ADHD medication, even though guidelines say it shouldn’t be prescribed for children under 4.

According to the Daily Mail, the report found that the drugs, like Ritalin and Adderall, were being prescribed to children ages 2 and 3. They found this especially true for children on Medicaid.

The guidelines made by the American Academy of Pediatrics do not have any “rules” for children under 4 because the hyperactive behavior that diagnoses ADHD is considered normal for children under 4.

Within the medical profession, many doctors think that a child should be at least 6 years old and should have had symptoms of ADHD for at least six months before a proper diagnosis can be made. Therefore, children ages 2 and 3 should not be prescribed the drug for any reason.

“It’s absolutely shocking, and it shouldn’t be happening,” Anita Zervigon-Hakes, a children’s mental health consultant said to The New York Times. “We obviously don’t have our act together for little children.”

An article at The Daily Beast, written by a pediatrician, points out that the symptoms that diagnose ADHD in a 9-year-old are completely normal in a 2-year-old.

The treatment for ADHD, essentially speed, is inappropriate for young toddlers.

Some think that it is simply parents who can’t control their children or possibly it's doctors who don’t want to deal with parents. Either way, there are thousands of toddlers receiving drugs that aren’t meant for them.

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