Parents will do nearly anything to keep their little ones healthy and stress-free. But all too often, our kiddos are rife with mood swings, sleep troubles, aches and pains, and a laundry list of other hardships that can shed the occasional unwanted tears. A kid’s difficulties are hard on mom and dad, too—you want to be the hero for your child, but sometimes, you’re not quite sure how to help.
Many parents aren’t aware that a magic little mineral can smooth over many of your child’s emotional and physical bumps in the road. Magnesium – a powerhouse mineral commonly used for muscular and cardiovascular health – has been touted as a godsend for helping kids across a wide spectrum of ailments, from sleep irregularities to behavioral problems.
Sometimes, a child’s frequent outbursts, anxiety, and irritability can leave the most patient of parents at their wit’s end. But mood swings and even ADHD may be stemming from a simple magnesium deficiency.
Children with ADHD or hyperactivity issues are an “at risk” group when it comes to emotional and social development. It’s difficult for them to function properly, and they’re often further frustrated by the lack of control over their own behavior. In an ADHD-specific study made available by PubMed, a group of children with marked symptoms of ADHD disorder was given magnesium for six months. The supplement yielded a notable decrease in hyperactivity.
And according to another a study by PubMed, there is further evidence connecting a magnesium deficiency to mood imbalances. “The study shows an association between higher dietary Magnesium intake and reduced externalizing behavior problems in adolescents.” The issues in this study included ADD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.
Magnesium studies have been shown to soothe stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, and depression in children, and it could be what your child needs to relax.
Bad dreams can send a little one diving into mom and dad’s bed in the middle of the night, but nighttime wakes can be the cause of another culprit—growing pains. Achy muscles and cramped legs can be enough to rouse your child from slumber in the middle of the night, and for some kiddos, these aches measure past the point of discomfort—they’re extremely painful.
Many kids will have a tough time with growing pains—around 25-40% of children will suffer from growing pains at some time during adolescence, typically between the ages of three and twelve. They’re often felt in muscles rather than joints and occur frequently in thighs and calves.
Magnesium could potentially be a one-stop-shop for your child’s growing pains. It has been shown to effectively help muscles to relax after contracting and helps to decrease the pain felt in muscles.
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for building strong, healthy bones. While broken records have told us that “calcium builds strong bones,” calcium and magnesium work as partners to aid in bone density and growth. When children consume calcium without magnesium, calcium collects in deposits rather than traveling to the bones—magnesium provides a golden ticket with the hormone calcitonin, which directs calcium to where it needs to be.
Magnesium supplementation has shown improved bone density and it helps to balance haywire calcium levels—if levels are too high, joints and bones can become stiff and sore. If it’s too low, they’ll be weak.
If your kiddo is stopped up, magnesium acts as a gentle laxative to help get things moving. Constipation isn’t just annoying—it’s a source of frustration and can be pretty painful for little ones. Before opting for OTC laxatives, try a natural remedy with magnesium.
Sleep troubles are a common problem for any age, but children especially have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. Insomnia is a common symptom of people with a magnesium deficiency, and an uptick in your child’s magnesium helps to regulate and maintain GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps to usher in the Zzzs.
If your child wakes frequently or has trouble falling asleep, a small dose of magnesium could be a good-dream-inducing antidote.
How Much Magnesium Does My Child Need?
Recommended magnesium dosages vary depending upon the age of your child. The National Institute of Health recommends the following dosage amounts:
- Infant to 6 months: 30 mg
- 7-12 months: 75 mg
- 1-3 years: 80 mg
- 4-8 years: 130 mg
- 9-13 years: 240 mg
- 14-18 years: 360 mg for girls / 410 mg for boys
Could magnesium be an invaluable supplement for your youngster?