Things to know about Dietary Supplements for Kids and Teenagers
A national survey conducted in 2012 showed that around 1 out of every 9 kids in the US opts for an herbal or dietary supplement. A few teenagers use products that are promote as dietary supplements for bodybuilding or weight loss. More and more products of this type that are being targeted to the young population have ingredients which could be possibly dangerous for them, including controlled substances and prescription drug ingredients. Many of the dietary supplements have not been tested on kids. The bodies of kids are not developed fully, which is why the side effects of such products might vary for adults and kids. Here are 8 things that you must know about dietary supplements for kids and teenagers.
- Not really safe
A lot of dietary supplements are available from natural sources. However, that does not actually indicate that these are absolutely safe to use. It is necessary to consult doctors and health practitioners before taking any of these supplements, just to be on the safe side. The dosage instructions should be followed properly.
- Federal regulations vs. prescription and OTC regulations
It is also important to note that federal regulations that exist for dietary supplements are not as strict in nature as the rules and regulations that exist for OTC (over-the-counter) and prescription drugs.
- Possible presence of contaminants
It is important to note that herbal and dietary supplements might be inferior in terms of quality, and might have contaminants like metals, chemicals or drugs. Research conducted on dietary supplements has revealed that there are major variances between what is written on the label and what is written the bottles of a few supplements.
- Risks of interactions and side effects
Dietary supplements might have interactions with other medications or products, or could have some unpleasant side effects for users. Every year, around 5,000 kids land up in emergency rooms due to the wrong use of dietary supplements. Most of them suffer from health risks upon the unsupervised intake of a mineral or vitamin. When it comes to dietary supplements, there is no need for child-resistant packaging.
- Vaccination is essential
A few homeopathic products, referred to as “homeopathic immunizations” or “nosodes”, are advertised as alternatives for standard immunizations. However, these have not been found to be effective in keeping children safe from diseases. It is important to follow the vaccination recommendations of the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to keep your kid safe from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. With vaccination on time, the health of children as well as that of the community can be safeguarded.
- No long-term weight loss benefits
It has been found that hoodia, acai and other dietary supplements that are promoted for aiding in fast weight loss benefits do not actually work for the long term. These might also produce unpleasant side effects. A few of these supplements have excess of caffeine or guarana and other herbs which are packed in caffeine and could lead to fatal alterations in the circadian rhythm. It has also been found by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are there are prescription drugs with enough risk potential in these weight loss products.
- Presence of hidden ingredients
This is becoming more and more of an issue in supplements for children as well as adults that are marketed to be useful for bodybuilding purposes. A few of the bodybuilding products that are promoted as dietary supplements have substances like steroids or even actual steroids. These might give rise to severe conditions like kidney failure, stroke or acute liver injury cases.
- Consultation with doctors is necessary before supplement use
It is essential to have a talk with the health care provider of your child, and find out about the effectuality as well as potential risks and side effects of any complementary method that you might be considering for your kid, or using already. If you have teenaged children, you also need to remind them to have a proper discussion with a family doctor or some other qualified, knowledgeable health care provider regarding any complementary health improvement product that they might be considering for use in sometime, for bodybuilding, weight loss or some other purpose.