Between the pandemic and the back-to-school season, kids have definitely been on our minds lately! Kids have been through a great deal of stress over the past year and a half, and it's affecting their bodies and brains just as much as it's affecting those of adults.
After all, let's not forget that stress actually causes our bodies to excrete magnesium at higher rates than normal. Not to mention that for a variety of reasons (including sensory issues) it can also be difficult to get kids to eat foods that are high in magnesium!
According to “Magnesium: A Vital Nutrient for Children” by Melissa Peterson (2018), kids’ magnesium levels can also be affected by medications such as antibiotics, steroid inhalers, and antihistamines.
What might magnesium deficiency look like in kids? Trouble sleeping, trouble focusing or concentrating, tense muscles or muscle twitches, impulsivity, and more anxiety than normal. According to Peterson (and many other sources), magnesium deficiency may even be linked with ADHD and autism spectrum disorders. (Of course, this does not necessarily prove causation, and you should always talk with your child’s doctor when making any choices about these conditions.)
However, if you are looking to add something safe and gentle to your child’s routine in order to see if it can help, our Little Buffalo Balm is a great choice! It contains chamomile and calendula oils in addition to magnesium chloride and all of our moisturizing ingredients, and is safe for children 6 months and up.
There are a few ways to use this balm for children. Several of our customers have told us that their children enjoy having it applied in a thin layer on the sole of each foot as part of a bedtime routine - just be sure to put socks or footie pajamas on so your child doesn’t accidentally touch the balm and get it in his/her eyes or mouth. It can help the child wind down and be calm so you can read a book together and then they can fall asleep more quickly. You can also rub the child’s back with it before putting pajamas on. However, if your child has a great deal of morning anxiety or hyperactivity before school or daycare, you could even apply it while getting them dressed in the morning.
Finally, we’ve even heard from some of our customers that the balm has helped to ease their little ones’ nightmares! In the podcast episode “A Case Study: Herbs and Nightmares” (2020) from the Holistic Herbalism Podcast, clinical herbalists Katja Swift and Ryn Midura of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism discuss herbal supports for healthy sleep as well as herbal allies for working through nightmares, particularly those that are linked to traumatic experiences. If your child suffers from nightmares (or even if you experience them yourself), the podcast is definitely worth a listen! And although we formulated this balm to be safe for children, adults can absolutely use it too! In fact, it’s become one of our favorites :)