The good bacteria in the body have a lot of crucial roles to play. Adding good bacteria to the body the right way might sometimes be required for a child who is down with a stomach infection or diarrhea.
Finding the best probiotic for kids can be overwhelming. The probiotics for children might be a lot different from those that are available for adults. The composition, the dosages and the method of consumption might all vary.
I have compiled a list of the most popular and the most trusted children’s probiotics to help you take a decision easily:
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Last update on 2019-07-18 PST - Details
Top 5 Best Probiotics for Kids?
What are the Health Benefits of Probiotics for Kids?
Some health conditions or other external triggers like a long course of antibiotics might meddle with the normal levels of the good bacteria in the body. As a result, digestive issues might occur in children. Certain infections in children might actually need an intake of good bacteria along with the suppression of harmful bacteria to help fight the infection better. This is precisely where a probiotic for children comes in the picture.
These are considered to be supplements rather than therapeutic compositions. They are also safe to be consumed by children. As far as the recommended dosage adheres too, there is very little to no possibility of side effects.
- Probiotics are known to help curb diarrhea in children. This is sometimes given in the form of yogurt as a natural probiotic. If that doesn’t help a probiotic supplement can be beneficial.
- There are some rare cases where some babies experience the disintegration of intestinal tissues due to necrotizing enterocolitis. Characterized by bloating, and abdominal swelling, probiotics might sometimes help alleviate this condition. The general treatment course would vary based on the actual severity of the infection and the age of the child as well.
- For the colicky babies, a prescribed intake of probiotic might help. Babies that are given probiotics cry less.
- Probiotic supplements can also help improve the overall dental health in children.
- There are studies that prove that the ideal levels of good bacteria can reduce the occurrence of respiratory infections in children.
- Few courses of antibiotics might result in diarrhea. This is not a very common occurrence but it depends on the actual antibiotic chosen and the way your child’s body responds to it. In such situations, a probiotic supplement might be recommended.
- Clostridium difficile is one of the many types of infections that can be cured faster with the right choice of children’s probiotics.
- Some children suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Restoring the balance in the levels of the good bacteria in the stomach can help cure IBS in a lot of situations.
- Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and several other infections might also call for probiotic supplements. These would be prescribed along with the regular course of medication. They can help the medicine work well and also prevent any side effects associated with the antibiotics consumed.
No matter how beneficial probiotic supplements are it is always a good idea to approach your child’s pediatrician before you start a course. In the meantime, you could supplement his regular food with natural probiotics like yogurt, on a regular basis.
Besides the above mentioned regular benefits probiotics are also found useful for the children with dairy sensitivities. Allergies associated with dairy products can be reduced with the intake of probiotics. Some children might even suffer from eczema as a result of these allergies. And this can also be treated by supplementing the medicines with probiotics.
Regular intake of the natural probiotic supplements can, in the long run, help boost the general immunity in children.
Choosing The Best Probiotics for Children
Probiotic supplements are available in the form of capsules or as easy to dissolve powders. Look at the CFU number on the pack. This denotes the culture-forming units in the probiotic. It might sometimes be indicated as the number of live cultures. This would indicate a number of bacteria fed to the child’s body for each dose.
Look for the ones that contain active or live cultures of bacteria. You also get to choose various flavors, so that you can make your fussy eater easily accept it. There are also sugar-free supplements which are even better.
The choice of a reliable brand is also another important factor that cannot be ignored. You could look for those brands that have been popular in terms of the consistency of the product quality. Stay away from the brands that have had recalls any time in the future. You do not want any probiotics that contain a lot of artificial ingredients, added colors, and other additives.
One other aspect to look at is the shelf life of the product. The closer the product is to the end of the shelf life, the less would be the actual number of live cultures present in the probiotic. The actual strains of bacteria present in the probiotic would be another factor to look at.
Capsules and powders are not the only options in probiotics. There are also those that come in the form of easy to use drops. If the child is too young to chew a capsule form then choosing a powder or liquid probiotic would be a better idea. The form in which it is given would not matter much as long as the live culture composition is good.
The storage requirements for the probiotics would also vary. Some require refrigeration while some can be stored at room temperature. Following the storage instructions would ensure that the live cultures stay alive till they are consumed. Refrigerated ones are generally preferred mainly because they can be stored at regulated temperatures to ensure the effectiveness of the product.
Though there is a wide variety of strains that you might find in probiotics, the most popular ones, the most preferred ones are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Bifidobacterium lactis, Bifidobacteriumbifidum among the others. These are the ones that are found in the body naturally.
Summarizing it on the whole
Gummies and chewable tablets are great for preschoolers as they are easy to consume. Some kids might have difficulty swallowing pearls. And for the toddlers, probiotic supplements, like the first one on the list, that can be mixed with the regular food and drinks would be the best option and the safest as well.
It all boils down the convenience of use and your personal preference. Consider the storage and dosage recommendations and strictly follow them. For the products marked to be stored in room temperature, there might be a permitted maximum temperature. Check this and store the supplements in the refrigerator to avoid disintegration due to hotter weather.
The Culturelle kid’s supplement the first on the list is one of the best in terms of several aspects put together. They are designed to suit children as young as 1 year and thus they are very mild and very effective as well. They can also show quick results without causing any side effects.