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QA26: Does my child need to take vitamins?

Children should not be taking multivitamins with very few exceptions: an infant who is breast feeding should be given Vitamin D supplements daily until he or she is weaned and getting about 18 ounces per day of milk or formula; flouride, though not a vitamin, should be given daily starting around 6 months of age and until a dentist takes over the oral health management; special circumstances/diseases do necessitate the administration of certain vitamins, but for a child with none of these, a daily multivitamin is not recommended.

For teenagers we really follow the same rules, although there are more exceptions, especially for teen girls who are menstruating and might need supplemental calcium, iron and folic acid.  Therefore, to really answer this question for our teenage population, it is best to have a discussion about this at your child’s Well Child Check.

– Steve Mendes, MD

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