While many adults use probiotics to help support their digestive system, children can also benefit from probiotics. The body is home to billions of organisms, such as yeasts, bacteria, and fungi.
Most of these organisms are harmless. More than harmless, in fact. They help your body function properly. These organisms form the human microbiome. Adding probiotics to your child’s diet can help support their microbiome by replenishing their body with good bacteria to support digestion and immune system function.
Are Probiotics for Kids Safe?
Probiotics are generally safe for kids. However, there are some exceptions, as Gessinger Health Plan explains.
For most children, probiotics can be helpful for multiple reasons. They can help support digestive comfort, regularity and skin health. They are also useful following a course of antibiotics to help restore good bacteria.
Many probiotics are also used to support dental, mouth, and throat health.
Do Paediatricians Recommend Probiotics?
Some paediatricians recommend giving children probiotics to help combat harmful bacteria entering the body. Kids' probiotics can help them digest food, break down medications and support the immune defences by balancing out harmful bacteria.
While children’s bodies naturally do these things, a kids’ probiotic can help ensure your child stays healthy while growing. Most pediatricians recommend giving probiotics to your child through food, but some will recommend over-the-counter supplements. Some foods that include probiotics are:
- Yoghurt (including kefir yoghurt)
- Sourdough bread
Before giving your child even the best probiotic for kids, it is always best to talk to their paediatrician first to ensure it’s a totally safe decision.
How Many Probiotics Should a Child Take?
There is no set dose of how many probiotics a child should take, paediatric health system Children’s Health explains. You should consult your paediatrician to figure out your child’s probiotic dosage. The probiotic dosage for your child can vary based on age, weight and if they have any health conditions.
When deciding on a probiotic for kids, you should look for a strain containing streptococcus salivarius K12. It is known to help support the upper respiratory tract and crowd out harmful bacteria.
What Happens if a Child Takes Too Many Probiotics?
If your child has taken too many probiotics for kids, they may experience an increase in bloating or gas, WebMD explains. Children are unlikely to experience any worse side effects unless they have an allergy to the probiotic.
You should inform your child’s paediatrician immediately if your child experiences a high fever, cough, or chills that will not go away. If your child is allergic to probiotics for kids, they may experience itching, a rash, tongue, face, and throat swelling, trouble breathing, or severe dizziness.
Should Kids Take Prebiotics?
Prebiotics fuel the body’s microbiome.
Prebiotics can help reduce support skin health in children and offer additional health benefits to crowd out harmful bacteria. Prebiotics are found in many natural foods, such as:
- Whole grains
Prebiotics can also be given to children as dietary supplements. These should also be discussed with your paediatrician beforehand to ensure it is safe for your child to do so.
What Is the Difference Between Probiotics and Prebiotics?
Probiotics are supplements or foods that contain live microorganisms that help the body maintain good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in many high-fibre foods or supplements and act as food for the body’s microflora.
If your child eats foods that contain prebiotics, they do not necessarily add any new healthy bacteria to their system. The prebiotics only feed the existing bacteria. Probiotics support good digestive health in children, as they add new beneficial bacteria to their stomachs.
Your child may benefit from probiotics for kids, especially if they have been sick for an extended time, have digestive issues, or take antibiotics. The DailyDefence Junior probiotic is one of the best probiotics for kids. It supports nose, ear, and throat immune defences by crowding out harmful bacteria and supporting ear and throat health.Children are prone to be vulnerable to harmful bacteria, as it can be found in things they interact with every day. Since children do not always like pills, our kids' probiotics come in a powder form and can be sprinkled over cool food or simply popped onto the tongue. View our DailyDefence Junior Probiotic here.