Magnesium Supplements for Children with Anxiety – Are They OK?

Find out if this essential mineral is safe for your child to take in order to cope with ongoing anxiety and learn the best way to use magnesium.

Sure, magnesium supplements aren’t the magic bullet to solving your anxiety and panic problems but they can be an effective coping solution for many individuals. They’re like another useful item in your arsenal of tools to weather the storm. Severe anxiety can make one shake, tremor, tense up, experience derealization and depersonalization, stutter, and so on. It’s all uncomfortable at best and entirely crippling at worst. While we know that magnesium supplements can be useful for adults with anxiety some might be wondering whether or not these supplements are OK for children to use when coping. In this article we’ll get to the bottom of this exact issue so keep reading to find out whether or not this is a natural aid you can safely use for your child.

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Coping is the Name of the Game

In many cases it’s not possible to “cure” anxiety. Whether the individual experiencing distress from an anxiety or panic disorder (or simply a case of a mild manifestation of the two) is a small child or a full grown adult the goal should always be to cope with anxiety. The closest you can get to curing it with an external aid (vitamin, medication, etc.) is through the use of an anti-anxiety drug like Klonopin and Xanax and that can be a very dangerous road.

It’s always important to get in touch with a doctor before giving your child a supplement to take. A full grown adult should consult their doctor before doing so, so why wouldn’t you do so on behalf of your child?
Keep reading to find out why magnesium generally should be safe to use and why this is so. You are certainly not alone in wanting to help your child cope with this mineral! 

So, is magnesium OK for your child to take? The short answer is to consult your doctor. Always consult your doctor before giving your child a supplement to take. This may not be the immediate answer you were looking for but we’ll dig deeper into the issue in just a minute. The two main reasons why you should seek the guidance of a practitioner is because your child could have a paradoxical reaction to magnesium and your doctor will be able to give your child a blood test to see if they are deficient in magnesium.

While it may be rare there is always a chance a person, children included, will react to a supplement in strange and/or the complete opposite of what the supplement is meant to do. Furthermore, one of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency is anxiety so if you get your child tested it will be easy to see whether this or other vitamin and mineral deficiencies are present. 

The fact of the matter is that this mineral is safe for many children to take in order to deal with excess stress and anxiety. A great deal of parents use this supplement to help their child cope. Why is it that it is able to help children and adults alike? One possible explanation is the fact that the majority of us do not get enough magnesium through our dietary habits. It is estimated that up to 68 to 80 percent of Americans are deficient in this vital mineral. This is insane! It also raises the question of whether or not many kids are also deficient, yours included.

This mineral also isn’t just something that you get from buying and using a health supplement. We’re really supposed to get the adequate amount of this mineral, just like all other vitamins and minerals, through our diet. However, as was just mentioned most of us do not get enough of this mineral through our diet which is why supplements are so handy at times. Next up we’ll cover the best way to use magnesium supplements for anxiety prevention and coping.

The Best Way to Use Magnesium for Your Kid

At first glance using magnesium to help your child cope with anxiety seems so simple even your child could understand the concept. You just by the best rated magnesium supplement and give it to your child to take when they are experiencing anxiety, right? This is actually the wrong way of going about things if you want things to be as safe and effective as possible. Children do not require the same amount of magnesium on a daily basis as adults do and so they will most likely react to a much smaller amount than grown ups do.

Low Dose Magnesium is the Safest Bet for Kids

According to the National Institutes of Health the recommended daily intake of magnesium for very young children ages 1-3 is 80 mg, ages 4-8 is 130 mg, ages 9-13 is 240 mg, and ages 14-18 is 410 mg for males and 360 mg for females. So you see children in different age brackets require different amounts of magnesium. It would be best to start within this range and then work your way up to a higher dosage if need be.

Considering that kids require much less of this essential mineral than adults do it would be in your best interest to shop for supplements that are around the 50 mg to 100 mg range. You’ll need to dig around a little bit because most magnesium supplements start around 200 mg and go up to around 500 mg. These dosages are far above the recommended intake for kids and are most likely marketed towards adults.

Choosing a low dose option will not only allow you to give this supplement to your child without going overboard (there is such a thing as too much) but it will also save you the hassle of having to cut up tablets with a pill cutter. Chances are the tablets will also be smaller and much easier for your kid to swallow. Swallowing horse pills can be a daunting and even dangerous task (choking hazard) for children!

What is the Best Type?

There are quite a few different forms of magnesium that are sold online and in stores so it can be a bit confusing when it comes to shopping. Before you go ahead and make a purchase it is important to know that same forms of magnesium work much better than other forms. For example, one widely available form of the supplement, magnesium oxide, often preferred by consumers for its cheap price is actually the worst choice. It has a very low initial bio availability which means that very little of it is absorbed when ingested. While magnesium oxide may be very cheap it must be taken over the span of a month or so in order to have any kind of effect and when you are using magnesium for anxiety you want fast results.

This form also has unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects and more often than not will send your child straight to the bathroom (sometimes more than once)! Magnesium citrate, while much more absorbable and quite effective, also carries some risk of increased bowel movements. The perfect choice when it comes to being highly absorbable while not carrying any stomach side effects would be magnesium glycinate. This should be your preferred form of magnesium when shopping around.

Anti-Anxiety All the Time

The last thing to take into consideration when getting the best use out of magnesium for anxiety and stress is how to make it work all of the time. If you’ve already selected a supplement from a reputable company that is a very absorbable form and is a low dose then you’re all set. The best time to have your child take magnesium is before their anxiety and/or stress usually occurs. If you can identify a patter in their anxiety then you can effectively use magnesium to prevent severe anxiety episodes and attacks.

You will also want your child to be consistent with their dosing. Taking magnesium every day will provide an adequate blood level throughout the day. You certainly don’t have to use this supplement every single day but if the anxiety is always present then it’s worth considering. It can be used on an as needed basis and should take about 30 minutes to an hour to kick in but it depends on the child. It is also possible that magnesium will stop working for your child in which case the cause may be from taking a form with poor bioavailability or simply a tolerance like mechanism.

Get to the Root Cause

If your child has a true anxiety or panic disorder then it should always be about finding healthy ways to cope. Magnesium is a very safe way for children to cope with anxiety and stress but it should be just one way of dealing with the root cause. It’s certainly less risky than powerful pharmaceutical medications like Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and SSRI’s but in some cases medications may be necessary in which case visiting a psychiatrist is a great option. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also a great way to treat anxiety in children and it carries absolutely no risk of dangerous side effects as it employs a certain technique of talk therapy. There are many healthy ways to treat anxiety and it is very much possible to help your child live with less anxiety and stress so never give up in your pursuit.


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