Objective: To assess the risk of adverse effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation in the pediatric population and to promote a culture of safety along with full reporting of adverse events in the chiropractic profession.
Methods: Narrative review of all published reports of adverse effects of chiropractic pediatric spinal manipulation.
Results: Adverse effects from chiropractic spinal manipulation are rare with 2 moderate and 4 severe events reported during a 59-year period with up to 30 million treatments estimated per year. Current reports show a very low rate (<1% in 8.290 treatments) of mild transient side effects lasting less than 24 hours.
Conclusion: Based on the published literature, chiropractic spinal manipulation, when performed by skilled chiropractors, provides very low risk of adverse effects to the pediatric patient. Vigilance to detect occult pathology as well as other steps to maintain safe practice are of utmost importance.
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