Kids' Nutrition: Can I give my child Tums as a calcium supplement?
Most nutrition experts agree that it's better for children to get calcium from dietary sources, including dairy products, leafy greens and broccoli, rather than from supplements, being as most calcium-rich foods are loaded with other beneficial nutrients. When children are allergic to milk products or have lactose intolerance, however, it may be difficult for them to get all the calcium they need from their diets. In these cases, a supplement may be necessary for kids' nutrition.
Tums tablets often are recommended as a calcium supplement for child's daily diet without first consulting a pediatrician. While each Tums 500 tablet offers 500 mg of calcium, it does not contain vitamin D, which is required by the body in order to absorb and use calcium properly. After evaluating your child's diet, the pediatrician may recommend a supplement that contains both calcium and vitamin D, at age- and diet-specific dosages.
In general, calcium supplements are safe and well tolerated, though they can interfere with the body's absorption of other important minerals, including iron and zinc. The most common side effects of calcium supplements include constipation, intestinal bloating and excessive gas.