Juvenile Bone Health Kids and Their Bones: A Guide for Parents

Should I Give My Kids Calcium Supplements?

Experts believe calcium should come from food sources whenever possible. However, if you think your children are not getting adequate calcium from their diet, you may want to consider a calcium supplement. For optimal absorption, no more than 500 mg of calcium should be taken at one time.

How Does Physical Activity Help My Kids' Bones?

Muscles get stronger when we use them. The same idea applies to bones: the more work they do, the stronger they get. Any kind of physical exercise is great for your kids, but the best ones for their bones are weight-bearing activities like walking, running, hiking, dancing, tennis, basketball, gymnastics, and soccer. (Children who tend to play outside will also have higher vitamin D levels.) Swimming and bicycling promote your kids' general health, but are not weight-bearing exercises and will not help build bone density. Organized sports can be fun and build confidence, but they are not the only way to build healthy bones.

The most important thing is for your kids to spend less time sitting and more time on their feet and moving. Alone or with friends, at home or at the park, one of the best gifts you can give your kids is a lifelong love of physical activity.

Bone-Building Activities

  • Walking
  • Tennis
  • Running
  • Volleyball
  • Hiking
  • Ice hockey/field hockey
  • Dancing
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Skateboarding
  • Gymnastics
  • In-line skating
  • Basketball
  • Lifting weights
  • Jumping rope
  • Aerobics

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