Descriptive study on the usage of herbals by infants and children of families participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) in Wisconsin

by Priebe, Jennifer R.

Abstract (Summary)
Priebe Jennifer R. (Writer) (Last Name) (First) (Initial) Descriptive Study of the Usage of Herbals by Infants and Children Participating in the (Title) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Food and Nutritional Sciences Dr. Barbara Lohse Knous PhD, RD, LD August, 2002 184 pages (Graduate Major) (Research Advisor) (Month/Year) (No. of Pages) American Medical Association Manual of Style (Name of Style Manual Used in this Study) Medicinal herb usage has become a popular form of complementary and alternative therapy practiced among adults.1,2,3,4 Whether herbs are being given to their infants and children is unknown. The pharmacological effects of herbs are potentially harmful, thus determining the prevalence of herbal use among infants and children can help healthcare professionals appropriately prioritize this issue among the communities they serve. Describing herbal use practices among infants and children and their caregivers will enable healthcare professionals to address applicable educational topics, and deliver credible information to caregivers in the most effective manner. The goal of this study was to profile and determine the prevalence of herbal usage among infants and children of families participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). A self-report survey was ii developed that requested descriptive as well as demographic data. The sample was comprised of 1479 caregivers recruited from 24 WIC projects in Wisconsin. Herbal use was prevalent among the infants and children of families participating in the WIC Program. Nearly one-third of caregivers provided their children herbs. The majority of children that received herbal doses were less than 5 years old. Caregiver demographic characteristics associated with childhood herbal usage include being 30 years of age and above, post high school education, rural location and nonwhite or Hispanic ethnicity. Popular herbs used among infants and children were aloe vera, garlic, peppermint, chamomile and manzanilla. Caregivers utilized many of the same types of herbs given to their children. Frequent reasons for giving herbs to infants and children included burns, food, colic, cold and stomach ache. The majority of the reasons appeared to be related to acute illness and symptom relief. The most popular information sources utilized by caregivers that gave herbs to their children were family, friends and books. Caregivers primarily relied on family for information on herbs. The results of this study show that herbal usage is prevalent in a low-income population. Overall, caregivers reported few herbs associated with adverse effects. However, since research supporting the usage of herbal products by children has not been established, an opportunity exists for unsafe practices. Healthcare professionals must become educated about safe herbal practices and the herbs used within their community in order to provide their clients with well-rounded information. Healthcare professionals must also provide herbal information to family and friends of caregivers through popular information sources in order to reach the clientele they serve. iii
Bibliographical Information:


School:Centro Universitário do Planalto de Araxá

School Location:Brazil

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.