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Is Kratom Safe for Children to Consume?

Despite the fact that kratom is a well-known and effective alternative for treating a variety of ailments, no one should give this herbal medicine to children without proper training. In addition, you have to consider that there are herbal supplements that are not intended for children. 

If you are considering seeking remedies through alternative medicine for your kids, including kratom, you should think twice. We will discuss below how kratom affects children. This way, you will be aware of kratom’s effects on your child. 

How It Affects Children

In the past few years, kratom has often been used to treat chronic or acute pain and mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It’s also been used to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms. While many believe kratom is harmless because it is classed as a herbal supplement, it has been linked to several serious medical issues, especially among children. 

According to a new study done by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital along with the Central Ohio Poison Center, more than 1,800 calls have been made to the U.S. Poison Control Centers from January 2011 through December 2017 relating to kratom exposure. 

The number of calls every year has climbed considerably, from 13 in 2011 to 682 in 2017. That’s the equivalent of increasing the call frequency from one per month to two per day. Almost two-thirds (65%) of these exposures occurred between 2016 and 2017.

Unlike CBD, which is becoming a popular alternative medicine for kids, kratom is still considered unsafe to administer to children. It is because data about kratom usage in children is still insufficient, and studies are still ongoing to better understand kratom characteristics when given to children. 

What Pediatric Care Providers Must Watch Out For

Among every 48 reported kratom exposures, were children 12 years old and below. Around 69% of this exposure were toddlers younger than two years. It even includes newborns. 

Aside from the medical issues caused by kratom to children, there are also reports that newborns experience withdrawal symptoms from kratom. As a result, neonatal abstinence syndrome, also known as NAS, is a real dilemma in pediatric care. 

It is when a newborn baby is showing symptoms of drug withdrawal. It is caused if a baby inside the womb is exposed to certain drugs. For example, NAS occurs when the mother consumes drugs such as opioids while pregnant. 

However, NAS can also be caused by taking antidepressants, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, or sleeping pills during pregnancy. The medicine you take while pregnant can pass through the placenta, which causes severe problems for the baby. 

Pregnant women should be properly educated about taking both illegal and OTC drugs during pregnancy. In addition, any pregnant woman should not consume any medication, whether it is a herbal supplement or not, without the advice of their physician. 

Aside from educating pregnant mothers about kratom intake during pregnancy, it is also best that they are educated about taking kratom while breastfeeding their babies. The American Kratom Association advises against using the herb when pregnant or breastfeeding. 

On the other hand, breastfeeding has been shown to help with withdrawal symptoms. The exact quantity of kratom consumed by moms of NAS infants is largely unknown or not disclosed, but one case claims that a breastfeeding mother should consume 18–20 g of powder three times daily. 

In a few cases, the maternal frequency of kratom usage is not defined, but it is generally cited daily.

Kratom Addiction in Children 

A Kratom cocktail named “4 x100” is becoming popular amongst adolescents in Asia. This cocktail’s name is derived from its ingredients, which are: kratom, cough syrup with codeine or diphenhydramine, and other changeable ingredients such as:

  • Anxiolytics
  • Antidepressants
  • Analgesics
  • Household products
  • Hon-prescription illicit substances 

The mixture causes euphoria and is potentially lethal. A case of driving while intoxicated has also been related to kratom use. Kratom is undetectable by standard toxicity testing. Although qualitative immunologic-based diagnostics are in development, definitive testing requires liquid chromatography or tandem mass spectrometry.

It is the reason why many teens are bold enough to consume kratom. They get the euphoric high that opioids can provide without getting caught on drug tests. Parents are encouraged to include kratom during their drug education at home. 

Many children nowadays are already exposed to kratom without their parents’ knowledge. It is because parents are not familiar with the said drug. Additionally, kratom is marketed as a supplement, making it easier for kids to get hold of it. 

Children are more prone to being addicted to kratom than adults. It is why giving them this herbal medicine is highly discouraged. So, before considering giving kratom to your child, it is best to talk to an expert or directly open it up to your pediatrician. 

Kratom Overdose Amongst Children

Because of kratom’s availability on the market, kids have been increasingly concerned about the exploitation of said herbal medicine. Unfortunately, as the years go by, reports of kratom overdoses among young individuals are constantly increasing. 

Kratom overdose in children isn’t only a result of drug addiction but also of suicide attempts. For instance, a 15-year-old female Caucasian with no prior medical history was rushed to the emergency room. The teen has reportedly ingested 45 capsules of kratom containing 500 mg each as a suicide attempt due to worsening depression. 

The patient acquired the kratom supplement from her father. She informed her mother after consuming the beverage and was sent to the hospital. Unfortunately, her parents were unaware of the dangers of kratom poisoning and thus did not keep the capsules in a secure location.

Aside from suicidal attempts, there were other cases where a young individual overdosed on kratom and was rushed to the hospital. However, as you can see from the example presented above, kratom affects adults differently than children. 

In Conclusion

Since children still haven’t properly developed mentally and physically, taking kratom is considered unsafe. Unlike adults, children are vulnerable and aren’t mature enough to know that they still don’t have enough control over things. That said, kids are more prone to becoming addicted to kratom than adults. 

ABHIYAN
the authorABHIYAN
Abhiyan Chhetri is a cybersecurity journalist with a passion for covering latest happenings in cyber security and tech world. In addition to being the founder of this website, Abhiyan is also into gaming, reading and investigative journalism.

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