As a parent, it’s natural to want to do everything you can to help your children stay healthy. Making sure they use bike helmets and seat belts, teaching good handwashing and mask-wearing habits, and eating nutritious foods are just a few of the ways families make wellness a priority. If diarrhea or respiratory illnesses are a concern in your household, incorporating a probiotic into your repertoire could make sense, too.
Pediatrics¹, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, reports that the probiotic strain Lactobacillus rhamnosus (which can be found in Florajen Kids) can help shorten the duration of virus-related diarrhea in children by 1-2 days. The journal also says that probiotics seem to be most useful when given to otherwise healthy children early on in their diarrhea illness. Similarly, the medical journal Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition², states that certain probiotic strains (including Lactobacillus rhamnosus) have been shown to help care for some diarrhea illnesses and to also help prevent diarrhea related to antibiotic use.
A pediatrician speaking about children’s health news with MDedge³ remarks that, “When it comes to probiotics for treating acute diarrhea in children, ‘the literature is actually fairly good here.’ More than 60 studies with an excess of 8,000 participants suggests probiotics are not associated with any adverse effects and generally shorten duration of diarrhea.”
In terms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, Pediatrics¹ cites research showing that if probiotics are given to children at the beginning of antibiotic therapy, the risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea can be reduced by about 17%, and that 1 in 7 cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea can be prevented by the use of a probiotic.
The Italian Journal of Pediatrics⁴ reports that “due to the presence of compelling evidence,” numerous guidelines recommend probiotics to help kids with diarrhea. Lactobacillus rhamnosus, the pediatricians say, is the best studied probiotic strain for the treatment of children’s diarrhea and has received a strong recommendation by the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
Moving out of the bathroom, Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition² says that probiotics, including Lactobacillus rhamnosus, have been shown to help reduce the risk of respiratory tract infections among children attending daycare centers, with kids taking probiotics missing fewer days at daycare. The benefit was especially pronounced among children with a history of recurrent respiratory infections during the winter months.
Florajen Kids is a probiotic that is specifically formulated for children to help ease the unpleasant side effects of antibiotics, restore the natural balance of good bacteria, support kids’ immune health, and maintain regularity in the digestive system. The strains or cultures in Florajen Kids consist of the same “good bacteria” that occur naturally in healthy people.
When you shop for a family probiotic, note that Florajen Kids is a refrigerated probiotic that can be found behind the counter with the pharmacist. Many off-the-shelf, unrefrigerated probiotics fall short in providing the number of live cultures experts say are necessary to help the natural “good” bacteria in your body do their jobs. Florajen is a non-prescription probiotic brand that maintains continuous refrigeration from manufacture to purchase. But, it’s still easy to find – just ask your pharmacist or shop now.
Concerned about allergens? Florajen’s family of probiotics DO NOT contain any of the eight primary allergens. This means Florajen Probiotics are free of milk (dairy), eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.
Remember, of course, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate probiotics as medicine and all caregivers should talk to a pediatrician about both the risks and benefits of giving probiotics to a child.
*Harvard Medical School reports that probiotics are generally considered safe and to have no side effects. If there are side effects, they are usually very mild (like a little more gas than usual) and temporary. For most people in good health, WebMD says probiotics won’t cause any issues; however, people who have an immune deficiency, are critically ill, recently had surgery, or are being treated for cancer should consult their doctor before using probiotics. Also be sure to talk to a pediatrician before giving probiotics to your baby, especially if he or she is sick. Florajen Kids is recommended for children over 6 months of age.