Many parents give cranberry juice to their children for urinary tract infections. But many parents don't discuss the treatment with their doctor, according to a new study.
Cranberry is commonly recommended for urinary tract infections. Although some research has shown its effectiveness in adults, few studies have focused on children. Cranberries can help prevent the infections by interfering with bacteria's ability to stick to certain urinary tract cells.
A study by Dr. Kathi Kemper of Brenner Children's Hospital at Wake Forest University and colleagues found that more than 29% of all parents surveyed said they had used cranberry products to treat or prevent the condition. However, only 23% of those parents who used cranberry said they had told their child's pediatrician about it. The study appeared in July's Ambulatory Pediatrics journal.
Cranberry is considered quite safe: It is well tolerated when used to treat urinary tract infections and has no known side effects, according to previous research. However, Kemper said it is important that parents discuss the use and effectiveness of all alternative treatments with their children's pediatricians, even if they seem innocuous. He said more study about the effectiveness of cranberry products in children is needed.