It might seem crazy to think that bacteria play an essential role in a child’s development—but it’s true. At least when it comes to certain bacteria. Probiotics are essentially live bacteria that even the littlest bodies need to stay healthy. Still, there are a lot of questions surrounding the subject. So, here is what you need to know about probiotics for children.
What are Probiotics for Kids?
Probiotics are live microorganisms. Our bodies are home to trillions of microorganisms. In fact, it’s believed that the number of bacteria in the body outnumbers the body’s cells 10 to 1. Some bacteria are harmful, but some are not only good—they are essential to the body.
The good and bad bacteria make up their own little community which experts call the human microbiome. The bacteria colonize:
• In the gut
• In the urogenital tract
• In saliva
• On the skin
When the good bacteria and the bad bacteria are in balance, there is peace among their little community, and everything runs smoothly. However, when there are more bad bacteria than there are good bacteria, the balance is thrown off, and the chaos begins.
This ecosystem is sensitive, and many things can throw it out of whack. Even things like sugar, antibiotics, and environmental factors can cause a disruption. Unfortunately, when this happens, it can cause multiple problems throughout the body.
Probiotics are the good guys. They are live bacteria that you ingest to help replenish the good bacteria in the microbiome and restore balance.
Probiotics and Antibiotics
A day at preschool, a fun day at the playground, or even a birthday party can easily result in a child getting sick. If your child gets an infection like a diarrheal illness or a common ear infection, they will most likely be prescribed antibiotics.
At times, there is just no getting around having to give your child antibiotics. But, what antibiotics do is destroy all of the bacteria in the body. While this is good for getting rid of the infection, it also means that now all of the child’s good bacteria has been destroyed too.
This can cause the bad bacteria to grow back stronger overtaking the good bacteria which can lead to a secondary infection. Having a child take a probiotic supplement while on antibiotics can help keep enough good bacteria in the body and may even help shorten their symptoms.
Or, if your child has already been through a round of antibiotics, giving them a probiotic supplement could help replenish and restore their microbiome helping them stay healthy.
Are Probiotics Safe for Kids?
An important question parents have is, “ are probiotics safe for children?” Probiotics are considered generally safe for kids and even beneficial. In cases where a child suffers from a serious illness or has a compromised immune system, probiotics may not be safe, and a pediatrician should be consulted first.
Probiotics are natural and are found in some dairy products and fermented foods. Natural probiotics for kids can be found in foods like:
However, it can be difficult fitting these foods into a person’s daily diet, especially if they are a picky child. It’s also difficult to know how much of the probiotics the child is getting and if it’s enough.
Probiotics supplements take all of the guessing out of the equation. They are the easy way for you to make sure your child is getting the probiotics they need.
Benefits of Probiotics For Kids
Are probiotics good for children? The health benefits of probiotics for children are extensive and impressive. Especially in kids who are susceptible to stomach bugs and respiratory infections.
Probiotics can also help deal with diarrhea and constipation—both of which are common problems for kids, especially during potty training.
Probiotics are used to help with a variety of health problems from digestion issues to immune system function. They may even help prevent or treat certain diseases.
A 2012 National Health Interview study found that more and more parents are trusting probiotics to help their children. The study showed that probiotics were among the top three natural products used by children.
Health conditions in children that probiotics may be able to help prevent or treat are:
• Acid reflux
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Inflammatory bowel disease
• Respiratory tract infections
• Certain skin conditions like eczema
Probiotics for Kids Side Effects
The side effects of probiotics for children are rare and mild. Unless of course, your child has a compromised immune system in which there could be more serious side effects. You should always consult your pediatrician before giving your child any supplements.
The most common side effects of probiotics in both adults and children are gas and bloating. Typically these symptoms are mild and may go away on their own as the body adjusts to the new bacteria. Reducing the dosage may also help. However, if the symptoms become severe or painful, you should contact your physician.
Probiotics Dosage for Kids
Our Kids Probiotic Chewable Tablets are easy and safe for kids to take. We recommend a child taking just one tablet per day before or during a meal. With any product, you should follow the dosage on the product label or ask your pediatrician about probiotics dosage for children to find out what dosage would work best for your child.
In one study, researchers built a fake digestive tract, fake stomach, and fake intestines but used real saliva, acid, bile, and digestive enzymes to try to determine when is the best time to take probiotics. They found that “bacterial survival was best when provided within 30 minutes before or simultaneously with a meal or beverage that contained some fat content.”
What are the Best Probiotics for Kids?
Overall, probiotic supplements can help keep your child healthy and happy. But, what are good probiotics for kids? Intrinsic Nutrition’s probiotic supplements for kids are among the best probiotics for children available on the market. Intrinsic Nutrition is a brand you can trust to keep your family healthy.
Out probiotics supplements for kids:
• Are cherry flavored— so they taste great!
• Are naturally acid and bile resistant
• Are shelf stable
• Are made in the US
• Are specially formulated in a world-class NSF certified probiotic facility
• Are certified organic, natural flavors, sugar-free, non-dairy, non-GMO, soy-free, gluten-free, preservative-free, vegan, and kosher