The following Buzzle article gives you some valuable information on calcium supplements for kids. It tells you about both, the pros and the cons of giving these supplements to your child. Take a look.
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’s body, calcium content ranges from 1,000 to 3,000 grams. Almost 99% of it is found in the teeth and bones. The remaining 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 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 a 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 true, especially for children, as their nutritional requirement is comparatively more than adults. This is because, they are in their growing years and their overall development totally depends on proper diet and healthy habits. A significant part of the child population is not able to get calcium as a part of their daily diet. Some remain deficient as they do not eat foods that are rich in calcium. Hence, to fulfill the calcium needs of such children, supplements of calcium are given to them.
As mentioned earlier, infants and adolescents have a comparatively higher requirement for calcium as compared to other age groups. This is because, more calcium is required for the growth and formation of their bones. Many a time, children are born with calcium deficiency. This is the case, particularly when their mothers suffered from calcium deficiency 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 regular consumption of calcium supplements. Moreover, 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 of life. Osteomalacia seen 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 foods with high calcium content include, broccoli, kale, cabbage, turnip, and all dairy products.
Commonly Recommended Dosage
The normal daily recommended intake of calcium for an infant below 6 months, 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 of age. The daily intake of calcium for kids, anywhere between 4 and 10 years of age, is 800 mg. It ranges from 800 to 1200 mg for adolescents.
The condition wherein, the level of calcium is higher than the normal is called hypercalcemia. There are some characteristic symptoms of this condition. They include, frequent urination and excessive thirst. Calcium overdose through supplement, can give rise to certain negative effects on health. The chronic high levels of calcium in the body may lead to the formation of kidney stones. It may damage the kidneys so severely, that they may stop functioning properly. The side effects due to over-dosage include, abnormal heart rhythms, dementia, calcification in areas of the body, and it can even lead to coma. High levels of calcium may also interfere with iron absorption in the body.
Lastly, in order to learn about the right dosage and safety concerns associated with calcium supplements, visit a doctor. A medical professional is the best person to suggest you the appropriate supplements.