Vitamin C is necessary for many body systems. It is an antioxidant and supports the immune system and collagen production. When the body is sick, it can tolerate, and even benefit greatly from much larger amounts of vitamin C than when it is well. Vitamin C appears to provide protection against heart disease and cancer. Some surmise that many diseases are caused by mild scurvy. Scurvy is a disease caused by extreme vitamin C deficiency. Symptoms including fatigue, weakness, anemia, joint pain, inflammation, heart problems and bruising.
Vitamin C is helpful for a variety of acute illnesses that children get including colds, influenza, and mono. Vitamin C is also useful for diseases for which there are vaccines. Vaccinated and unvaccinated children can contract chicken pox, mumps, measles, and whopping cough, and vitamin C is very helpful in these diseases.
Once the body has reached the saturation point of vitamin C, it will begin to flush it out via the bowel. A child will get diarrhea once his body is saturated. If a child gets diarrhea when being treated with vitamin C, the dose can be cut in half. It may take you some time to figure out the exact amount that suits each child in each particular illness.
Many parents have found that whooping cough responds very well to high doses of vitamin C. While it must be given the duration of the illness, the illness is usually much, much less severe when high doses of vitamin C are used. Dr. Suzanne Humphries recommends 200 - 375 mg per kg of body weight for a 24 hour period to treat whooping cough.(1) These recommendations can be applied to other childhood diseases as well.
Here is a chart to make the math easier for dosing with vitamin C.
Weight in PoundsAmount of Vitamin C Per Day
20 pounds 1,700 - 3,400 mg
30 pounds 2,500 - 5,000 mg
60 pounds 5,00 10,000 mg
75 pounds 6,500 13,000 mg
100 pounds 8,500 17,000 mg
125 pounds 10,000 - 20,000 mg
Ideally the dose is divided up and given as many as 10-12 times a day. If necessary, and this may be for tired parents dealing with a sick child, find a friend to do the math.
Which form of Vitamin C is Best for Children?
Sodium ascorbate is the best form to use for vitamin C therapy. It is easier on the stomach than ascorbic acid. Powdered form with no fillers is preferred. Tablets for children usually contain artificial sweeteners and colors which are counterproductive.
Overdoing vitamin C causes loose stools, though this is quite temporary. Inadequate vitamin C means that the illness will not improve as quickly.