I have a a 2.5 year old who is not in daycare and a 4 month old who is EBF who is also not in daycare and I was wondering how much vit c and d do i give for the winter month and how much do i give when sick. Can you recommend any brands?
Vit C and D in the winter
Winter health, especially cold and flu prevention, is probably the #1 concern among parents in my practice at this time of year. As you likely know, the older child in the family can easily "catch" every virus that passes by and often shares those viruses with younger siblings - this process is essential in building immunity. Preventative measures include frequent hand washing, frequent cleaning of counters, toys, and using tissues as much as possible - not always easy with little ones! There are some things that parents can do to minimize severity of colds and flus, including chicken soup, saline rinses, and humidifying the house. Vitamin D is essential for babies and children, the general recommendations I have seen in studies range from 400 IU for babies to 1,000 IU per day for older children. A vitamin D blood test for children will allow their physician to recommend a dose that is appropriate. Recent studies show that Vitamin C is not helpful in cold prevention, but can shorten a cold if taken at the first sign of symptoms. Some parents swear by Vitamin C for prevention, and others tell me they do not find it helpful. For those who use it for their kids, most prefer Hyland's Vit C tablets, which are a low enough dose that they can adjust dose by giving more tablets. Too much Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so be sure to monitor if you are giving this supplement to your children.
Working with a licensed naturopathic physician or holistic MD will help you determine what doses are right for your children - need can vary depending upon geographic location, medical conditions, and other factors.