The data also raises the question of whether as a society we are pathologizing certain child behaviours that are variants of normal or are seeking a quick fix rather than being willing to spend the time and money to explore the more deeply rooted causes of the child's mood and actions. It also brings to light the shortage of child psychiatrists and gaps in the training of our pediatricians which likely perpetuate the issue.
"In interviews, a dozen experts in child psychiatry and neurology said that they had never heard of a child younger than 3 receiving such medication, and struggled to explain it. They presumed that parents and doctors, probably desperate and well meaning, were trying to alleviate thrashing temper tantrums — the kind that get children kicked out of day care — or an overly depressed disposition, like being strikingly inhibited, nonverbal or lethargic.
“People are doing their very best with the tools available to them,” said Dr. Mary Margaret Gleason, a pediatrician and child psychiatrist at Tulane University School of Medicine. “There’s a sense of desperation with families of children who are suffering, and the tool that most providers have is the prescription pad.”
But Dr. Gleason said that children with ages measured in months had brains whose neurological inner workings were developing too rapidly, and in still unknown ways, to risk using medications that can profoundly influence that growth. She said the medications had never been subject to formal clinical trials in infants and toddlers largely because of those dangers."
For the full story, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/11/us/psychiatric-drugs-are-being-prescribed-to-infants.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=1