Is Ritalin safe for very young children?

This is really something you

This is really something you should ask a doctor. Ritalin helps many kids that cannot concentrate otherwise. Although there is a possibility of addiction, for many it can be the difference between a productive lifestyle and one which is filled with frustration.

Depends on how you look at

Depends on how you look at it. Many children these days have ADHD or at least that is how they are diagnosed. Ritalin seems to provide these children with an ability to be productive. My issue with using Ritalin in very small kids is that we don't know if their presumed "ADHD" is just a stage in development or if it really is something to worry about. Children have many different emotional needs and many tend to be just fine even without Ritalin. Is it unsafe. It isn't clear, but things that are unnecessary tend to inhibit us down the line if we take them.

According to the medication

According to the medication guide that is included with the medication and available on the FDA's website, "RITALIN should not be used in children less than 6 years old because it has not been studied in this age group."

I've heard of doctors prescribing ADD/ADHD medication to children under 6, and in my opinion it should be a last resort. I do think that ADHD is a real condition and medication can help a lot of kids, but I think it's better to try behavioral approaches for really young children. Kids change so quickly and can be just naturally excitable, so I think it's hard to make an accurate diagnosis when they're under 6. More importantly, I would worry about how medications might affect their development, since they're learning so quickly and their brains are still developing. Even if Ritalin isn't dangerous for them, that doesn't mean it would have no side effects. For example, I know it can stunt growth--I doubt that's dangerous, exactly, but you might want to avoid it for as long as you can.

-V-

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