Giving vitamins to our little ones is a debatable issue for many of us parents. Are vitamins safe? Do I really need to give vitamins to my kids even if he/she is in perfect health? Here are five facts that you should know about vitamins:
1.What are vitamins?
Vitamins are nutrients which are essential for the proper functioning of our body. Our body needs to receive very small amounts of these vitamins (grams and micrograms) on daily basis. Vitamins are naturally found in different kinds of food like fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, or grains.
2.Are vitamins safe?
Yes, vitamins are safe. As mentioned above, commercial vitamins are extracted from natural sources which makes them safe. On the other hand, commercial vitamins do not exceed specific limits which are set by the local ministries of health and the World Health Organization (WHO).
3.My child is healthy, why he/she needs to take vitamins?
Vitamins are given to healthy and unhealthy children. Healthy children need vitamins to prevent many diseases like anemia or vitamin D deficiency. The dose of vitamins that a healthy child takes is usually half the dose that an unhealthy child needs.
4.Which vitamins should I give to my child?
Here are 3 main vitamins that you should give to your child:
-Vitamin D: This is very important for bones and teeth development. 400 IU/day is what a healthy kid needs. If your little one has a vitamin D deficiency (based on lab test results) then he/she should take 800 IU/day.
-Calcium: This is also essential for bones and teeth. For healthy kids, the dose is calculated based on their age: 200 mg/days for babies less than 6 months; 260 mg/day for babies 6-12 months; 700 mg/day for babies 1-3 years; 1000 mg/day for 4-8 years children and 1300 mg/day for 9-18 years children.
-Iron: It supports many functions in our bodies like the brain or red blood cells. Healthy kids need to take 1-2 mg/Kg/day as prevention dose. For example if your child’s weight is 10 Kg, then he/she should be taking 10 mg-20 mg of iron per day.
5.Can I give vitamins to my little one when he/she is sick?
Yes, taking vitamins while being sick is not contraindicated, even if your little one is on medications. We highly encourage that your kids continue taking vitamins when being sick. Usually the body requirements in vitamins are higher when being sick as your body’s immunity is activated to fight bacteria/virus.
Giving vitamins to your kids is essential so that they can stay in good health and to prevent many unwanted diseases. Yet, if you think that your child is deficient in any vitamin, please refer to a doctor first to do the necessary lab tests and to adjust the vitamins dose.