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ADHD: Are toddlers being treated?

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Thousands of toddlers, too young to meet pediatric treatment guidelines, are being medicated for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD), according to Susanna Visser, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher who just unveiled new information at the Georgia Mental Health Forum held in the Carter Center in Atlanta. This, according to the The New York Times who says, the report "did not directly present a total number of toddlers 2 and 3 years old nationwide being medicated for the disorder", but it did however suggest "a number of at least 10,000 and perhaps many more."

The American Academy of Pediatrics treatment guidelines for ADHD in children begin at age 4.

Last November, the CDC revealed the 2003 and 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health and announced 11 percent, or 1 in 10 school children ages 4 to 17, had received an ADHD diagnosis by a health care provider as reported by parents in 2011. That's a total of 6.4 million kids - an increase of 2 million children as compared to 2003. More than two-thirds of those with ADHD were taking medications in 2011.

In December 2013, the CDC released health statistics for children based on the National Health Interview Survey in 2012 that said 13.5 percent of boys 3-17 years of age and 5.4 percent of girls had been diagnosed with ADHD.

According to the CDC and the "Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosed and Medicated ADHD: United States, 2003—2011", in Rhode Island, just over 11 percent of children were currently diagnosed as of 2011.

For more information diagnosing and treating ADHD in children, check out Lifespan.org or HealthyChildren.org .

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