5 Things To Know About Safety of Dietary Supplements for Children and Teens
Parents should be aware that many complementary health products, including dietary supplements and herbal medicines, have not been tested for safety or effectiveness in children. Because children’s metabolism and their immune, digestive, and central nervous systems are still maturing, side effects can differ from those seen in adults. This is especially true for infants and young children.
Nearly 12 percent of children (about 1 in 9) in the United States are using some form of complementary health product or practice, such as dietary or herbal supplements. A dietary or herbal supplement may contain many compounds and its active ingredients may not be known. Also, what’s on the label may not be what’s in the bottle. Analyses of dietary supplements, including herbal supplements, sometimes find differences between labeled and actual ingredients.