Can Kids Have Tums? What Age Is Safe?

Can Kids Have Tums? What Age Is Safe?

Tums seem relatively harmless. These antacids got me through quite a few bouts of heartburn. It makes sense that they could help a little one with an upset stomach, too.

However, upon calling the doctor for my little one about this subject, I discovered that Tums aren’t always the answer.

It’s important to address other possible causes and learn what age is safe to give children Tums to make sure that you don’t do more harm than good. 

Tums

Tums work exceptionally well to provide relief from acid. This includes a small amount of indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and gas. They do not work like all-in-one stomach medicines, such as Pepto Bismol.

Tums won’t help with diarrhea or vomiting. They aren’t always recommended to deal with chronic conditions.

My pediatrician is a big fan of addressing underlying causes. That’s why you see that mentioned in so many of my blogs. I’ve personally discovered that this works better for a long term solution too.

tums

Ingredients

Most varieties contain a small amount of sodium (2 mg), and elemental calcium (400 mg). All Tums products use calcium carbonate at 1000 mg levels as an active ingredient.

Typically, calcium carbonate won’t cause any problems. When it does, most people wind up feeling constipated. Make sure that it’s safe for your child to take Tums before giving them to them.

Drug Interactions

If your little one is on any other medication or has a medical condition, it’s important to consult your doctor or pharmacist before giving them an antacid.

Calcium carbonate is often not recommended for people with kidney problems. It can also interfere with the absorption of other medications.

Make sure that your little one won’t have any problems. Before giving them Tums, call their doctor or your local pharmacist.

Can 5-Year-Olds Have Tums?

No, this isn’t recommended. Most pediatricians do not recommend giving a child under the age of six Tums. Instead, make sure that it’s not attention-seeking behavior.

If you’re positive that your little one is in need of medicine, call your pediatrician first. If this isn’t an option or you just need some quick relief for a case of heartburn, Pepto Bismol does have a kids brand that is okay for children above the age of 2.

If your little one has frequent heartburn, it can provide some relief while waiting to get into the doctor. Having some in the cabinet just in case is a great idea. 

Make Sure They Are Really Sick First

Before doling out medicine, it’s important to make sure that your little one is really sick. Children fake illnesses for a variety of reasons.

They may be on a mission to get out of school, chores, or to get a little bit of extra love. Being sick usually accomplishes all of those things. To make sure that your little one is, in fact, feeling ill look for other symptoms.

Illnesses often present themselves externally as well as internally. A child who doesn’t feel well will often not feel like running around and playing. If their stomach hurts, expect to see diarrhea, vomiting, or at least a change in appetite. 

Placebos Work Great For Faking Kids

If you’re sure that your little one is not sick, try giving them a placebo instead. It’s a great trick to make a little one feel better without giving them unnecessary medicine.

Vitamin C chews or tablets are a wonderful idea. Picking up a separate bottle of multi-vitamins can also work wonders. If your child can read, you’ll have to get creative with this one.

Put them in a medicine bottle or pick up some that are designed specifically to be used as placebos for children. Watch out for sugar pills, though.

Some placebos are just a large dose of unhealthy sugar that we wouldn’t want our kids taking any more than we would want to give them unnecessary medicine.

doctor with mother and child

Can 6-Year-Olds Have Tums?

Yes! Six is the magical age that children are allowed to have Tums according to the pediatrician. It’s important to keep in mind that how many Tums you give your little one will depend on their weight.

If you’re unsure, ask your doctor or local pharmacy. If you’re wondering if 7, 8, 9, or 10-year-olds can have Tums, it’s the same answer.

These age groups can enjoy the relief that Tums provides for a variety of ailments. The same company makes Tums for children as well, and most kids enjoy these. 

Home Remedies

Although drug interactions aren’t common and serious side effects are extremely rare, some of you might not feel comfortable giving your little one Tums or your child might be too young.

If your children are under six, there are plenty of home remedies available to provide relief in the meantime. 

Heartburn

Heartburn is usually a smaller version of acid reflux. When heartburn is a consistent problem, it’s usually diagnosed as Acid Reflux.

The occasional bout of heartburn is not considered acid reflux, though. These are some of the most common home remedies for heartburn: 

  • Aloe juice
  • Sugar-free gum
  • Bananas 
  • Diet changes (avoid foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes)
  • Oatmeal

These will provide temporary relief for heartburn. Most recommend drinking milk to stop heartburn in its tracks, but the fat content in milk can actually make heartburn worse in the long run.

Instead, opt for oatmeal with sliced bananas and some aloe juice to drink. 

Bloating

Bloating is a common cause of stomach aches in children. Most children don’t understand what bloating is, so instead, they complain that their stomach hurts.

In order to help your little one with bloating, you need to discover the cause behind the bloating. 

Swallowing Air

Swallowing air can happen when children breathe too fast, like when they are anxious about something. Children that are scared will also breathe faster. Kids that chew gum are also more likely to swallow air than other kids. 

The Solution

Teach your children breathing techniques to use when they are stressed, nervous, or feeling scared. If your little one chews gum, it’s time to get rid of it. Gum is bad for your teeth, anyway.

child in potty

Constipation

Constipation can easily cause bloating or an upset stomach. It can be difficult for parents to tell if their child is constipated when they start using the bathroom on their own.

To determine if your little one is backed up, have a conversation with them. Explain how healthy bowel movements work and tell them that you need to know if they haven’t pooped in a while.

This is a nice conversation to have, but most younger children won’t remember to tell you. Just to be safe, ask your child if they pooped every night to double-check. 

The Solution

The solution to constipation often lies in diet changes. Over the counter medication, such as laxatives, can help on a short term basis. However, it’s important to implement dietary changes to make sure that it doesn’t turn into chronic constipation. 

The main changes that most people make that help constipation are increasing the fiber and water intake. Mild dehydration can result in constipation as can a poor diet.

Make sure to include plenty of leafy greens, like salad or spinach in your kid’s diet. Fruits and water are perfect for keeping children both hydrated and healthy. 

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common reason for bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea. If children experience stomach pain when drinking milk or consuming products that have lactose in them, it could be due to lactose intolerance.

Sometimes, the symptoms don’t appear until several hours after a kid drinks milk, though. This is why it’s helpful to contact your pediatrician. Some offices can do a breath test to determine if a child is lactose intolerant. 

The Solution

Eliminate lactose from their diet if possible. Most milk has lactose in it, but there are lactose-free options available. Opt for soy milk or almond milk instead.

Start reading the ingredients on dairy products while at the store. There are a lot of yogurt products that do not have lactose in them. Most people that are slightly lactose intolerant can still consume cheese too! 

Gas

Children get gas just like adults do. However, they often do the same thing that they do with other things. Simply say that their stomach hurts.

There are quite a few things that can cause gas in children. In order to prevent gas, it’s important to discover what is causing the gas. 

Medical Conditions

If your child has chronic gas, it could be due to an underlying medical condition. Common conditions that cause gas include: 

  • IBS
  • Constipation
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Side effects from antibiotics
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastrointestinal diseases

If your child seems to be constantly suffering from gas, it can be a good idea to check with your pediatrician for underlying medical conditions. 

child at doctor

Diet

If there are no underlying medical conditions, you can usually trust that chronic gas is due to a child’s diet. Sometimes children are more sensitive to foods than we are, so we don’t always realize that we might be contributing to the gas problem.

These foods are known to cause gas: 

  • Too much fiber
  • Foods that are high in fiber, such as beans
  • Carbonated drinks, like soda or carbonated water
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Dried fruit

If your child eats a lot of these foods and they have gas, this could be the reason. Try eliminating key foods from their diet to find out which one is the cause of the gas.

Do this with one food at a time for 3-5 days. It can be time-consuming and requires patience, but is well worth it in the long run. 

Most parents find it helpful to keep medication that can provide relief on hand while they determine the underlying cause. 

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is caused by acid in the stomach. This is the primary reason that parents wonder if a five-year-old can have Tums.

If that’s not an option and you prefer not to give your little one more medicine than is necessary, consider these possible causes and solutions to acid reflux. 

Possible Causes

To determine a natural way to resolve acid reflux, it’s important to understand that acid reflux is often the same thing as heartburn. However, acid reflux happens more often than once in a while.

It’s the equivalent of chronic heartburn. There are several underlying things that can cause acid reflux: 

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Obesity
  • Some OTC medications, such as Ibuprofen and Tylenol
  • Sleeping directly after eating or laying down after meals
  • Large meals

In these situations, the solution would be to solve the underlying condition. For stress, children can practice yoga. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help children learn to deal with anxiety.

Sitting up for an hour or so after meals can help drastically reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

toddler eating

Diet

Diet can play a large role in acid reflux. There are a lot of foods that contain large amounts of acid, such as tomatoes. If your child has a diet packed with any of these foods, that could be the reason behind them having acid reflux: 

  • Raw onions
  • Garlic
  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges
  • Caffeine
  • Peppermint
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint

If your child consumes a lot of these foods, try an elimination diet to see if that helps.

Conclusion

While solving the underlying condition is often the best long term solution, it’s a great idea to have something on hand for kids so that they aren’t suffering while you determine that underlying cause.

Children under six years old shouldn’t have Tums, but Pepto Bismol does make a product that is designed specifically for children.

This is a great alternative and happens to be the one that I have in my cabinet because my six-year-old still likes those so we’ve never made the switch to Tums. 

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