I get asked on occasion whether I can deliver complementary therapies to children. I do but I am very conscious about the issues surrounding child safety. Many complementary therapies are suitable for children and can help with stress, anxiety, aches and sleep.
For any therapies with children I ask that they have a caregiver present at all times; that covers me too but it also reassures the child and the parent. I also not only ask the adult to sign the consultation form but also ask for written, if they can sign, and verbal permission from the child too. I always like to make it clear to any child that I work on that they have the full right to say no even when their parent has said yes to the treatment and that for hands on therapies that their body is their own. I make it very clear that I ask their permission and also explain the treatment beforehand and that I do not touch certain areas at all and also explain what I plan to work on so that they know and that if they don’t feel ok we can make an alternative plan or not go ahead at all. I also let them know that if at any time they wish me to stop I will as it’s their body. I think it is very important that children know what is appropriate touch and also that they understand that they are in charge of their own bodies and that they should never feel under pressure to do something they don’t want to do.
The FHT has an excellent handout here.