Tums is basically a form of antacid; it is not a complete stomach solution but the best to relieve acid reflux (not suggested for any chronic condition). While adults are frequently on Tums to treat mild gas discomfort, some parents wonder if kids can take Tums.
Excessive antacids are not healthy for adults, let alone for children. Yet often, parents tend to give Tums to the toddlers whenever they complain of having a stomach ache or form gas.
Especially, children below 12 years of age should strictly be away from any antacids, and the same thing goes for Tums also. But for a change, Tums also has a unique formula for kids, Tums Kids (low level of calcium carbonate), which can be considered for gas relief.
Ingredients in Tums
A US-based company GlaxoSmithKline manufactures Tums; they are available in chewable and water-soluble powder form. The main ingredient is 1000 mg calcium carbonate (CaCO3). It works as an active ingredient. Other than that, there is sugar, elemental Calcium (400mg), sodium (2mg), and many more to back the main ingredient. Tums Kids has a low amount of Calcium Carbonate, around 750 mg, and is oriented for children. It is safe for children between 2 to 11 years of age.
Reasons for Children to take Tums
Tums basically focus on treating stomach acid or acid reflux, stomach pain, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or esophagitis. Though Tums is mostly used for stomach ache corresponded by the gassy stomach, the benefits are extensive and can other diseases.
Children, especially toddlers, often suffer from stomach aches or heartburn, or upset stomach due to the formation of stomach acid. Being children, they can hardly classify the symptoms and may name all the other symptoms “stomach pain”. So, mainly Tums is often given to the children for stomach issues. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other medications to treat the symptoms.
Also, Tums Kids, which is safe for children, is often used as a calcium supplement on a regular basis. It works like any other random multivitamins.
Also read: What to Do When My Child Swallows a Marble?
At what age, a child can take tums?
Without consulting a pediatrician, no children can take Tums. Though it appears to be a quick fix to multiple symptoms, it brings some severe side effects upon the babies. Moreover, most pediatricians prohibit the intake of medications like Tums or any potent antacids before 12.
A child after the age of 12 years may take Tums only if the doctors recommend. Also, Tums Kids is available for children under 12 years. It is relatively safe for them than the adult formulation.
Note: Even after 12 years, a child must not be on Tums very often. The intake should always be minimal, even for adults.
Can Tums hurt a child?
Yes, frequent intake of Tums or any antacids is harmful to kids and adults.
Especially if the baby is actively taking any other medications or has any medical history, Tums cannot be consumed at all without consulting any clinical assistance. The active ingredient calcium carbonate even restricts the absorption of other medicines.
Again if the child has any previous or present kidney issues, calcium carbonate can turn the conditions fatal. It is well known to worsen kidney diseases. Also, it can constipate babies.
Tums can also cause some allergic issues (not chronic ones) and excessive burping among children due to overdose.
The side effects cause diarrhea, indigestion, infrequent bowel movement, bloating, loss of appetite, and electrolyte imbalance. Moreover, it can interfere with the process of nutrient absorption in a child.
Precautions before Taking Tums: Drug Interactions
As stated before, there are multiple side effects of taking Tums at an early age. Even if the doctor recommends the baby to take Tums Kids, certain precautions must be taken into account.
Though this medicine is kosher and gluten-free yet not applicable for children with milk allergies. Tums Kids is not casein-free; thus may not risk children with lactose intolerance but won’t spare milk allergies.
Also, if the baby is taking medications for liver disease or thyroid, Tum’s intake should not be wise. To rest the case, always consult a doctor or local pharmacist before putting any types of antacids to your child’s mouth.
Home Remedies: Quick Substitutes
- First of all, be sure whether the kid is actually having the symptoms or just making up. Toddlers often grow a tendency to pretend illness to draw attention or bunk studies or school. Thus the symptoms must be for real before opting for the cure.
- Change or addition to the child’s diet is the ultimate substitute to any aggressive medicines. Bananas, fennel seeds, gingers, aloe juice, high fiber vegetables, oatmeal are beneficial to prevent ingestion, stomach issues, or gas.
- Also, make sure to evict foods that cause gas like tomatoes, carbonated drinks, other acidic foods, and excessive junk food. Make your child drink adequate water to stay hydrated.
- If the baby is under 1 year, Gentle Ease Formula or the child’s PeptoBismolwill works great to combat stomach gas.
Can I give Tums to a 7-year-old?
No, without the doctor’s permission, one cannot give Tums to a 7 year old. But Tums Kids can be considered for children above 2 years. It can also be used as a multivitamin, but it would be wise to limit the intake for a 7-year-old child.
Can 1 year old have Tums?
Strictly No. A 1-year-old or an infant cannot have such a potent antacid. Even Tums kids is designed for babies from 2 years to 11 years of old. By all means, Tums is not applicable for children of 1 year or under two years old.
Is it bad to take Tums if you don’t need them?
Yes, aggressive medication does not bring anything good to the health. If one does not need it, he/ she must not consume Tums unnecessarily. It will clash with other drugs and health conditions. And can lead to severe health issues as well.
Tums undoubtedly work excellent to treat heartburn or stomach acidity and are perfectly fine for adults to take once in a while. But when it comes to children, even doctors don’t recommend this. Tums Kids can be considered for consuming once in a blue moon (NOT FREQUENTLY in any way). Children above 12 years can take Tums under doctors’ guidance.