Dr. Greene’s take on asthma and calcium:
Inhaled steroids may be important for treating asthma, but they may also decrease bone mass in the children who use them, especially those who take more than 400 mcg per day, according to a study reported in the October 2000 issue of the Journal of Asthma.
In general, children benefit from lots of weight bearing exercise (running, jumping, having fun) and from getting enough calcium in their diets. These both become especially important for children with asthma who may have a tougher time with these recommendations because of their wheezing or possible milk allergies.
Children over age 9 need 1300 mg of calcium per day.
Those 4-8 years old need 800 mg;
1-3 years need 500 mg;
6-12 months need 270 mg;
0-6 months need 210 mg.
(A cup of milk has about 300 mg and plain yogurt has about 450 mg.)
If the asthma is managed properly, most children with asthma should be able to have all of the active, weight-bearing fun they need.