In a recent post, I explained why kids need magnesium to regulate their nerves and sleep – and why they might not be getting enough. (Note the study on ADHD and magnesium.)
We hear from so many customers who use Natural Calm transdermal and magnesium powder not only for their kids’ sleep but also to help with stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, muscle cramps and even constipation. It really helps, and if you need more reasons why, read this post on magnesium and children.
In this series of blog posts, I’m zeroing in on magnesium supplementation by age category. This post provides practical pointers for using oral and topical magnesium supplements with kids age 1 to 13.
But first, if you have an infant who may not be getting enough magnesium (this happens with formula-fed babies sometimes), see my last post. In the article, I talk about how to use transdermal magnesium in baby massage and magnesium baths to increase your little one’s intake in the earliest months.
With older kids, you have more options when it comes to supplementing with magnesium.
WHAT TYPE OF MAGNESIUM SHOULD KIDS USE?
Magnesium can be supplemented topically, through the skin, or orally.
Transdermal magnesium is great for kids who refuse to drink supplements, or for kids who are prone to loose bowels. It’s also just a really easy, effective way to increase your child’s magnesium levels.
Both transdermal and oral magnesium are very safe for kids who have functioning kidneys (to eliminate excess) and are otherwise without pre-existing medical conditions. If your child is on medication, speak to a health professional. Sometimes magnesium may interfere with absorption (such as with iron and antibiotics) and other times, it may decrease their requirement for medication.
Transdermal Magnesium for Kids
If you choose transdermal magnesium, opt for a diluted product, like our Magnesium Chloride Gel or Spray. The gel and spray are formulated for direct application even to sensitive skin. The spray is particularly good for children, because it mists on in a very thin layer, appropriate even for little kids who need a smaller dose of magnesium.
Like the seawater from which our magnesium chloride is sourced, there can be a tingling sensation. If your child finds the tingling uncomfortable, or if they experience any drying of the skin, mix the spray or gel with a natural oil, like coconut oil, or blend the magnesium with a moisturizer.
You can also add a capful of our full-strength Magnesium Chloride Liquid to their bath.
As mentioned above, Magnesium Chloride Liquid, Spray and Gel bypass the digestive tract, which is great for kids who tend to be too regular. Use it as an alternative or in addition to oral supplementation.
Magnesium Drinks for Kids
One of the trickiest things about finding supplements for kids is balancing your need for less sugar in their diets, with their demand for taste. That’s why our Natural Calm Kids is so popular.
It’s made with organic fruit flavours and stevia, with no fillers, artificial flavour, colours, preservatives or other nasties. And the Raspberry-Lemon flavour is really popular. Kids love the taste and the fizz.
Serve Natural Calm Kids up as a warm tea, or add it to their cold drinks or smoothies (click the link to find out how). If your kid has a super-sweet tooth, read our post on options for serving up Natural Calm to kids.
Make it fun! Young children love to see the bubbles when the hot water is added – it looks like a science experiment. So let them watch. If they’re old enough, they can lend a hand.
We’ve also found a fun recipe for chewable vitamins using Natural Calm, here. What a great idea!
The chewable vitamins aren’t vegetarian because of the gelatin, but those on animal-free diets could make mineralized frozen popsicles. Just freeze a dilution of Calm to taste in popsicle moulds!
You should be aware that magnesium taken orally is a mild, natural laxative. Too much at one time may cause loose stools. No harm done, though – excess magnesium is excreted without other side effects. For some kids, a natural laxative is just what’s needed, especially if they have abdominal pain when constipated.
Note that if you’re looking to buy Natural Calm for the whole family, the formula and concentration we use in Natural Calm Kids is the same as our Natural Calm magnesium citrate for adults. The only difference is that the Natural Calm Kids package lists dosages appropriate for children.
Speaking of which…
HOW MUCH MAGNESIUM DO KIDS NEED?
Magnesium needs are based on weight and other factors. If your child is more active, perspires frequently, or experiences a lot of stress, they may need more than other children of the same weight.
General guidelines are as follows:
- Children aged 1 – 3 need 80 mg of magnesium per day
- From the ages of 4 to 8 the RDA for magnesium is 130 mg/day
- Ages 9 – 13 need 240 mg/day
Consider how much magnesium your child is getting from their diet. Few people get all their magnesium needs met through diet. If your child is eating a substantial quantity of legumes, dark leafy veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, they may only need to supplement a portion of their daily requirement.
Kids who aren’t eating any of these foods should supplement their total daily requirement.
Oral Magnesium Dose By Age
It’s easy to determine how much Natural Calm powder to give your child, just by reading the label on Natural Calm Kids or splitting the adult dose according to their weight.
- Ages 1 – 3: 1/4 tsp daily of Natural Calm
- Ages 4 – 8: 1/2 tsp
- Ages 9+: 1 1/4 tsp
Transdermal Magnesium Dose by Age
Wondering how much transdermal magnesium chloride to use with your kids? Read this guide to getting the amount right, or follow these guidelines:
Now, these may look like big numbers (especially for the liquid), but remember that you won’t apply the magnesium chloride liquid directly to your child’s skin. A single teaspoon in a bath will not completely absorb into your child’s body.
That said, the best product for small children is our Magnesium Chloride Spray because it goes on light for a lower does.
Here is the spray dosing by age:
- Ages 1 – 3: up to 12 sprays daily
- Ages 4 – 8: up to 20 sprays daily
- Ages 9+: up to 40 sprays daily
WHAT TIME OF DAY TO GIVE KIDS MAGNESIUM
Magnesium has a reputation for improving sleep, and it does. It helps relax nerves and muscles and triggers melatonin, the sleep hormone, under low light conditions. But Natural Calm is not a sedative. In fact, magnesium is essential for energy production, too.
That’s why you can take Natural Calm at any time of day or evening – this applies to kids and adults alike. Add our magnesium powder to their smoothie or juice in the morning, to the water bottle they take to school or serve it up as a relaxing evening drink. (Again, note our tips on using hot versus cold liquids.)
Rub transdermal magnesium into their skin in the morning, afternoon or at night. It won’t make them sleepy, but it will help them to feel more relaxed, less tense, and have a steadier, healthier energy level.
When you’re first getting started, try using lower doses two or more times a day. This will allow their little bodies to make optimal use of the mineral.
WHY MOST KIDS DON’T NEED MORE CALCIUM
On the topic of minerals for children, I’d like to close on an important issue: whether or not your child also needs more calcium.
Children who are big dairy consumers or who eat calcium-fortified processed foods are likely getting enough calcium in their diets. If this is the case for your kid, you’re better off avoiding calcium supplements. Too much calcium can be harmful. Instead, give child-sized doses of the pure magnesium in Natural Calm.
Children who need to supplement with magnesium and calcium can use our Natural Calm Magnesium Plus Calcium. This includes kids who don’t consume dairy, eat foods or drink beverages fortified with calcium, or take any other calcium supplements. (Check their multivitamin – sometimes these are loaded with calcium.)