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What is the Recommended Dose of Vitamin C for Children?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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Vitamin C is an important dietary supplement when administered in the proper dosages. When starting a regimen of vitamin C for children, it is important to consider that dosing amounts are different depending on the age of the child and, as the child ages, gender. For infants up to a year old, the daily intake is supplied by the mother's milk. Beginning at one year, the suggested dosage increases.

It is recommended that children between the ages of one and three receive dose of 15 mg of vitamin C. Children between four and eight should receive 25 mg, while children between nine and 13 need 45 mg. From age 14 until age 18, there are different dosages based on gender. Teenage boys should receive 75 mg, while girls only require 65 mg. Pregnant and nursing girls 18 or younger require 115 mg, while those who smoke should add 35 mg to their recommended dosages.

Just as important as meeting the recommended dosages is not consuming vitamin C in excess, as this can lead to side effects such as nausea, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and severe diarrhea. Children between one and three should not consume more than 400 mg per day, while those between four and eight should not take more than 650 mg, and children between nine and 13 should not take more than 1,200 mg. Adolescents and pregnant or nursing girls between 14 and 18 should not take more than 1,800 mg.

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Vitamin C for children can be given in the form of supplements. Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, can be the best natural sources of vitamin C for children. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or juice from fresh-frozen concentrate has the highest content, and contains more active vitamin C than ready to drink juices or supplements.

Following the correct amounts of vitamin C for children is crucial, as it is an essential vitamin for maintaining the function of the immune system. Many use it to treat the common cold and for infections. Vitamin C deficiency can cause scurvy, which affects the bone growth rate of children by calcifying the ends of bones and preventing them from growing any further. Scurvy can occur in individuals at any age, but the majority of cases of infantile scurvy occur in children between six and 24 months old. Extreme cases of scurvy in children can result in death from cardiac failure, making it very important to follow a recommended dosing schedule regarding vitamin C for children.

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