John Sheehan, M.D. Pediatric Orthopaedics
Calcium, of course, is one of the building blocks of the bone. It helps us have strong bones. So we need to have enough of it in our bodies to maintain that bone strength.
For the young child it's very important because that's the time when they're growing.
We really only build our bone mass until we're about 30 years of age, so it's really important to build that strong bone mass when you're a child and adolescent. If you don't, you won't be able to do it later.
The dairy products are the best sources of calcium but there are other things such as dark, green vegetables have some calcium in them. There are fortified breads and some of the different types of fish. You can always get fortified juices. So if you have a child that really doesn't like dairy, there is other ways of finding it. I think it's better to get it through the diet but if that's just not possible you can always supplement.
You don't have enough calcium you'll end up with weaker bones, which may lead to various diseases and, of course for kids, may make it easier for them to fracture their bones.
Calcium is important to help keep our bones healthy. Dr. John Sheehan, Pediatric Orthopaedist with Boys Town Orthopaedics, explains the best sources of calcium for your child's diet and the dangers of low calcium.