Calcium is one of the basic components of animals and plants. It is also the most abundant and essential mineral in the human body. In an average healthy adult, calcium ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 grams. Almost 99% of it is found in the teeth and bones. The rest 1% is present in the extracellular fluid and blood, with a very small amount inside the body cells. Calcium is the main constituent of the skeleton. It helps in the formation and maintenance of the bones and teeth, therefore, the knowledge of calcium supplements for children is of great importance. It plays an important role in the contraction of muscles. It is also important for the secretion of various hormones and enzymes.
Calcium is also important for the contraction and relaxation of blood vessels. It aids clotting of blood. In nutshell, you can say that calcium is essential for the sound health of the human body. It needs to be consumed in proper amounts. The statement is especially true for children as their nutrient requirements is comparatively more due to growth and development of the body. A significant part of child population is not able to get calcium as part of their regular diet. Some remain deficient as they do not eat foods rich in calcium. Calcium supplements are meant for such children. The present article focuses its discussion on the calcium supplements for children.
Importance of Calcium Supplements for Children
As has been mentioned in the introductory paragraph, infants and adolescents have a comparatively higher requirement for calcium as compared to rest of the age groups. This is so due to the extra need of calcium for the growth and formation of their bones. Many a times, children are born with calcium deficiency. This is the case, particularly when their mothers didn’t have a good supply of calcium during pregnancy. Such children often tend to develop weak and underdeveloped bones. Due to calcium deficiency, they also have to suffer from problems of the digestive system like indigestion and diarrhea.
All such medical issues can be restored to some extent with the regular consumption of calcium supplements. Even if a child is not calcium deficient, he or she should take calcium in sufficient amounts. This will keep several serious medical conditions like osteoporosis and osteomalacia at bay during later years in life. Osteomalacia in children is known as rickets which causes softening of bones leading to fractures. Hence, it is very important for children to have a calcium rich diet. Some of the calcium rich foods for children include broccoli, kale, cabbage, turnip and all dairy products.
Commonly Recommended Dosage of Calcium Supplements for Children
The normal daily recommended intake of calcium for an infant below 6 months of age is 210 mg. It is 270 mg for infants between 7 months and 1 year. It is 500 mg for children between 1 and 3 years if age. The daily intake of calcium for children anywhere between 4 and 10 years of age is 800 mg. It ranges from 800 to 1200 mg for adolescents.
Side Effects of Calcium Supplements for Children
The condition wherein the level of calcium is higher than the normal is called hypercalcemia. There are some characteristic symptoms of hypercalcemia. They include frequent urination and excessive thirst. Calcium supplement overdose can give rise to certain negative effects on health. The chronic high levels of calcium in the body may lead to formation of kidney stones. It may damage kidney so badly that it may fail to work properly. Calcium supplement side effects due to over-dosage includes abnormal heart rhythms, dementia, calcification in areas of the body and even coma. High levels of calcium may also interfere with iron absorption.
This is all on the calcium supplement for kids. Liquid calcium supplements for children are also available. Now, you know about the pros and cons of giving calcium supplements to your kids. Make the best use of this information in taking proper care of your kids. In order to learn about the right dosage and safety concerns, visit a doctor. A medical professional is the best person to suggest you the best calcium supplements for children.
By Kalpana Kumari