Although giving your 9-year-old child fish oils capsules can help him reach his daily omega-3 requirements, too much fish oil can be problematic for children. For this reason, always check with your child’s pediatrician before offering him fish oils capsules or other fish oil supplements. Purified fish oil found in capsules is often safe, in recommended amounts, for many 9-year-old children.
Maximum Safe Dosage
There are no established recommended dosages for fish oil — such as a recommended dietary allowances or tolerable upper intake levels — in children, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Therefore, it’s difficult to know how much fish oil to give a 9-year-old child. MedlinePlus recommends adults consume no more than 3 grams, or 3,000 milligrams, of fish oil daily. Therefore, even though there’s no official guideline for children, 9-year-old kids should not exceed the adult recommendation unless their doctor recommends it.
Composition of Fish Oil Capsules
Docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, are omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil that play important roles in proper development of 9-year-old children. Fish oil capsules are often fortified with vitamin E and contain about 9 calories per gram of oil, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fish oil capsules containing varying amounts of DHA and EPA have been given to children in research studies to help improve symptoms of asthma, movement and coordination disorders and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, according to MedlinePlus.
Dosages Used in Research
The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that one fish oil capsule commonly contains 180 milligrams of EPA and 120 milligrams of DHA. Dosages of fish oil used in research contain 17 to 26.8 milligrams of EPA and 7.3 to 11.5 milligrams of DHA for improving asthma symptoms in children, 400 milligrams of fish oil per day to help treat ADHD and 558 milligrams of EPA plus 174 milligrams of DHA in three divided doses daily to help treat developmental coordination disorder in children, according to MedlinePlus.
Dangers of Excess Fish Oil
Several concerns exist for 9-year-old children who take too many fish oil capsules. Oregon State University reports that excess omega-3 fatty acids can weaken the immune system, making it less effective at fighting off bacterial and viral infections. Too much fish oil can also increase a child’s risk for bleeding, may cause diarrhea, can reduce vitamin E in the body and may interact with certain medications — making them less effective. That’s why it is crucial to chat with your 9-year-old child’s pediatrician before offering him fish oil.