The FDA recommends that consumers consult their doctor, pharmacist, or other health professional before deciding to buy or use a dietary supplement. It is essential to be aware of potential interactions between supplements and medications, as well as the potential for accidental overdose. Vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy growth and development in children, but many kids do not need supplements if they are eating a balanced diet. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate dietary supplements as closely as prescription drugs, so caution should be taken when giving them to young children.
Thousands of children are taken to the emergency room each year after taking an unsupervised vitamin or mineral supplement. It is important to inform healthcare providers about any dietary supplements being taken. Some pediatricians suggest that these supplements are not always necessary, especially if the child is eating a well-balanced diet. Even if taking a short-term medication, such as an antibiotic, it is important to tell the doctor about any supplement routine.
The goal should be to obtain vitamins and minerals through food and drink. If there is concern that the child is not getting enough of these vitamins in their daily diet, it is best to consult a licensed pediatrician. Children who have a lack of appetite, drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages, take certain medications, or have chronic medical conditions that interfere with their intake may need a supplement. When giving supplements to a child, it is important to follow the instructions of the healthcare provider.
The pediatrician can determine the type of vitamins your child really needs and if supplements are needed to help him get them. Another common instruction about prescription medications is to take them on an empty stomach, in which case your child should take the medication 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal, as food may prevent the medication from working properly or may delay or reduce its absorption. While all vitamins and minerals are important for growth and development, some are especially important for children. It is also essential to be aware of how similar prescription and drug bottles look, so make sure that your child's name appears on the label and that it is the medication the doctor recommended or prescribed. Children who have celiac disease are at greater risk of nutritional deficiencies and may need supplements. When considering whether or not to give your child a dietary supplement, it is important to consult with your doctor first.
Your doctor can help you determine if your child needs additional vitamins or minerals in their diet and can provide guidance on which supplements may be beneficial for your child's health. Additionally, it is important to follow all instructions provided by your doctor when giving any type of supplement to your child.