Guidelines for calcium supplementation for children properly and safely

Calcium is an extremely important and necessary nutrient for children, especially children under 5 years old. A calcium deficiency can cause children to grow slowly and may have many other health problems. So how to properly supplement calcium for young children? Let’s learn more about this issue through the article below.

1. The role and need of calcium for children

1.1. Role

Calcium plays an extremely important role in the development of height, health and rigidity, solidity of young children. Calcium accounts for about 1.5% – 2% of the total body weight, most calcium is concentrated in teeth, bones and a small part is in extracellular fluid and blood. In addition to participating in the structure of teeth and bones, calcium – a mineral substance is also the main component of building the skeleton of the entire body.

Besides, calcium also plays many other roles such as: participating in blood clotting cycle, nerve cell transmission and muscle contraction function. The child’s body will have small bones, rickets, growth retardation, deformity, weak teeth, irregular growth, easy tooth decay, dwarfism when not providing enough calcium.

Moreover, the lack of calcium in the body also causes inhibition of neurotransmitters, so young children often startle and cry when they sleep at night, even their mobility may be disturbed.

The immune system is affected and loses its recognition function to eliminate cancer cells in the body when the child has a calcium deficiency. The lack of calcium for children under 9 years old makes them lazy to eat, tired, easy to fall or easily numb limbs, ..

For children aged 9-16, calcium deficiency leads to irritability, sweating, fatigue and inactivity, etc.

Calcium plays an important role in helping children grow taller

Calcium plays an important role in helping children grow taller

1.2. Demand

Calcium needs will change at each child’s age, specifically:

  • 300 mg/day of calcium is required for infants under 6 months.

  • It is necessary to supplement with 400 mg of calcium/day for children from 7 to 12 months.

  • It is necessary to supplement with 500 mg of calcium per day for children from 12 months to 3 years old.

  • Need to provide 600 mg of calcium / day for children from 4-6 years old.

  • It is necessary to provide 700 mg of calcium/day for young children between the ages of 7 and 9 years old.

  • Need 1000 mg of calcium/day for children 10 years old.

  • It is necessary to supplement with 1200 mg of calcium/day for children aged 11-24 years old.

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According to experts, calcium in food is not completely absorbed in the intestine, about 70-80% is not absorbed. Therefore, adequate calcium supplementation for young children’s healthy development is an important issue that parents need to keep in mind.

2. Causes of calcium deficiency in young children

  • The baby suffocated or lacked oxygen during delivery.

  • Due to maternal diabetes during pregnancy or pregnancy poisoning.

  • Not enough calcium in the diet.

  • Young children are not given regular sunbathing by their parents, which leads to a deficiency of vitamin D – a substance needed to help young children’s bodies absorb calcium better.

calcium supplement for children

Young children can have calcium deficiency due to asphyxiation at birth

3. Supplement calcium for children properly

For the body of young children, providing calcium safely and properly will help children grow healthy. However, how to calcium supplement for children is something not all parents know and do right? Giving children a lot of calcium is not the best way, but parents need to conduct scientific supplementation to help children absorb well and bring high efficiency.

3.1. Take calcium tablets only when prescribed by your doctor

As mentioned above, at different ages, there will be different calcium needs, the need for calcium supplements for children is higher as the children get older. Therefore, to provide appropriate calcium content, parents should note the age of the child.

Providing calcium with adequate and appropriate levels will help children stay healthy. However, to avoid leading to unpredictable consequences such as bone pain, nausea, constipation, … parents need to be careful not to give children too much calcium.

Excess calcium for a long time can lead to more serious consequences such as: calcification, kidney stones due to calcium accumulation, thereby making it difficult for the body to absorb substances such as zinc, iron, … Therefore Parents should consult a doctor to ensure the dosage when using and only use when prescribed by the doctor.

calcium supplement for children

Parents should only give their children the right amount of calcium

3.3. Combined with vitamin D

Calcium and vitamin D are the perfect duo that cannot be separated, because vitamin D is the active transmitter that helps children’s bodies better absorb calcium. Therefore, parents should provide children with vitamin D to best absorb calcium into the body.

Every day, mothers should spend about 10 to 20 minutes for their baby to sunbathe between 9 and 9:30 am. This time will help the baby’s body absorb more vitamin D through the skin. Combined with a nutritious diet, enough fat needed for vitamin D to be absorbed through the digestive tract easier and better.

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Besides exposing children to sunlight in the early morning, parents can supplement vitamin D for children through foods such as yogurt, salmon, milk, cod liver oil, egg yolk, …

3.4. Through eating and drinking

Although only a small amount of important calcium for children can be met through daily intake, this is a simple and effective way to supplement calcium for children. Through nutritious dishes and natural foods, parents can provide a certain amount of calcium for their children.

For cases where breast milk is not enough to provide for the baby or the child is poorly absorbing calcium, it is necessary to provide additional calcium. However, under the guidance of a doctor, parents should not arbitrarily buy and use calcium to avoid situations of excess calcium.

Mothers should give children a varied diet, giving priority to calcium-rich foods such as shrimp, crab, fish, snails, sesame, soybeans, wood ear, spinach, milk and dairy products… For mothers If you are breastfeeding, you should change your drinking habits to help your body absorb calcium better, such as limiting coffee, alcoholic beverages and salt. Because these are substances that reduce calcium absorption.

Besides, the diet also needs to have enough protein as recommended. If a diet has too much protein, it can increase the risk of calcium deficiency by increasing the body’s excretion of calcium through the urinary tract, thereby increasing the risk of kidney stones. And absolutely do not starve to prevent hypophosphatemia, which causes low calcium.

Provide your baby with calcium through foods rich in calcium

Provide your baby with calcium through foods rich in calcium

3.5. A few notes when supplementing calcium for children

  • It is recommended to combine outdoor activities when giving children to use calcium for better absorption by the body.

  • When the child is hungry, the parents are not allowed to feed the child calcium.

  • Do not use milk when taking calcium.

  • Winter is a time of little silence, so young children are also susceptible to calcium deficiency, so parents need to supplement calcium for children at this time.

  • Children should sunbathe in the early morning for 15-30 minutes every day to help form vitamin D for the body, support good absorption of calcium.

To help the body absorb calcium well, let children sunbathe for 15-30 minutes every day

To help the body absorb calcium well, let children sunbathe for 15-30 minutes every day

Here are some ways to share calcium supplement for children the right way that parents can monitor to best take care of their children. To ensure the good health and development of their children, parents can give their children regular health check-ups at

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