Building strong bones
Your child's peak bone mass (PBM) is reached between 18 and 20 years of age. Here is how you can increase your child's PBM
Your child’s peak bone mass (PBM) is reached between 18 and 20 years of age.
According to Professor Nola Dippenaar at the School of Medicine at the University of Pretoria, if a good PBM has not been reached at this age, it is unlikely to ever significantly improve.
“The best protection against bone fractures at any stage of life is to maximise PBM during growth,” explains Prof Dippenaar. “To achieve an average PBM, boys need a positive daily calcium gain (more gained than excreted) of 160mg and girls should gain 130mg, for every single day of their lives from birth until they are 20 years old.”
If too little calcium is consumed for the body’s needs at any stage in life, it will simply be taken out of the bones. A winning recipe for good bone health in children is an adequate intake of daily calcium, coupled with daily physical activity, especially weight bearing exercise.
The recommended daily calcium intake for kids: 1 to 5 years: 800mg; 6 to 10 years: 800 to 1000mg; 12 years and up: 1300mg per day.