Vitamin deficiencies are quite common among children and often are associated with poor diet and lack of proper nutrition and exercise. If you are concerned about your child’s folic acid levels, it is important to understand not only what levels of folic acid your child may need, but to also understand how a folic acid overdose can further complicate your child’s health if you are providing folic acid supplements.
In recent years, folic acid has become a more common form of supportive therapy in the health of children who are at risk for neurological disorder complications. If you are the parent of a child who has neurological risks, it is important to become familiar with the folic acid supplementation your child may need as well as understanding how folic acid overdose may occur.
As with any vitamin or mineral supplementation, before giving your child folic acid supplements, it is important to first determine if your child has folic acid deficiency symptoms and, if so, what level of supplements should be dosed each day. For many children, too much folic acid provided in the diet can result in a risk for losing control over other vitamin deficiencies, ultimately impacting your child’s vitamin B levels as well.
Because vitamin B is also a vital part of metabolism and energy function in children, when a folic acid overdose hampers vitamin B, your child’s energy levels drop – this, coincidentally is an early sign that a folic acid overdose may be to blame. It is important, therefore, that your child’s pediatrician and nutritionist closely monitor your child’s vitamin and nutrition levels to ensure the right doses of all vitamins, including folic acid, are given.
If the unfortunate circumstance of vitamin b12 deficiency occurs in response to a folic acid overdose, your child’s pediatrician may recommend supplementing your child’s diet with additional vitamin B supplements, or there may be a request made to reduce the amount of folic acid supplements given. This, again, will be determined by how well your child responds to dietary changes and what neurological issues are of concern. Ultimately, as a parent, these types of supplements and nutritional changes should not be made until blood work and examination by a pediatrician is complete.
Nutritional deficiencies cause many parents to supplement their child’s diet with oral vitamins and minerals. If folic acid is a supplement you are considering, be sure you are also monitoring your child’s B vitamin levels to find the right balance in overall health and to minimize these vitamin B risks associated with a folic acid overdose.
Sources: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins and Minerals, by Alan H. Pressman