As crucial as it is for adults to get their fair dosage of Vitamin D, it’s equally rather more essential for children’s good health and development. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium which is pivotal for children’s bone growth and development.
Common signs of Vitamin D deficiency in children
- Low immunity, cold, flu
- Unaccountable fatigue
- Auto immune disease
- Loss of bone density making them fragile and brittle
- Asthma attack in children
- Depression & Anxiety
- Dental deformities
- Muscle cramps
- Short stature
Children might be at risk of vitamin D deficiency if they:
- Keep their skin covered at most times
- Too much time is being spent indoors and less of outdoor activities
- Liver disease, kidney disease, problems with absorbing food
- Have darker skin
- Have been breastfed by a mother whose vitamin D is low
Vitamin D for newborns
A baby’s vitamin D supplies are increased during its development in the womb and are lowered after birth until the baby starts getting vitamin D from sunlight along with the requisite diet. If a pregnant woman has small levels of vitamin D, she might not pass on enough vitamin D to her child. Breastfeeding offspring doesn’t get much vitamin D from breastmilk, due to lack of the vitamin.
Due to lack of vitamin D during pregnancy, children may develop neonatal hypocalcaemia (not enough calcium in the blood) or rickets later in their childhood. Doctors often say it’s acceptable for a breastfeeding mother to take a vitamin D supplement, though it is highly recommended to consult a physician before any such consumption.
Vitamin D for toddlers
Vitamin D plays a significant part in helping your child’s body absorb calcium and form strong teeth and bones. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, new study suggests Vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining immunity and has been implicated in the prevention of certain sickness states including rickets, infection, autoimmune disease, some forms of cancer and type 2 diabetes. The study found that kids with the lowest Vitamin D levels had significantly higher blood pressure, weight gain and inflammation, plus lower levels of HDL (aka good cholesterol) and increased chances of heart disease.
Vitamin D for children
Children and teens need 10 times more of vitamin D than the recommended dose. Youngsters aren’t getting enough vitamin D, according to a new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which says kids need double the previously recommended amount.
Infants up to 12 months old need 400 international units (IU), or 10 micrograms (mcg), a day. Children older than 1 need 600 IU, or 15 mcg, a day. Serious vitamin D deficiency in children can cause rickets, muscle weakness, fractures, delayed motor development, aches and pains.
“There is no safe aggregate of sun exposure,” says Jennifer Shu, MD, Parents advisor and editor of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Baby & Child Health. “But now we have safe possibilities for getting vitamin D through enhancements and fortified foods – and these don’t cause cancer.”
The skin makes vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight. The researchers strongly suggest that many children are getting far too little vitamin D, especially those who do not get ample sun exposure throughout the year. Kids who are too young for chewable vitamins can take liquid supplements. Your child doesn’t have to get enough vitamin D every day. Instead, aim to get the recommended amount as a protocol over the course of few days or a week.
Vitamin D for adolescents
According to researcher Michael F. Holick, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, vitamin D deficiency can not only cause rickets (a disease that can lead to bone deformity and fractures), it can also keep a child from reaching his or her hereditarily preset height and peak bone mass. Vitamin D also functions as a hormone with many other jobs in the body, including a guideline of the immune system, insulin production, and cell growth.
Can there be too much Vitamin D for your child?
Chances are minimal but definitely possible. Excess vitamin D and unwarranted sun contact have serious health consequences. Parents and patients should not add supplements or increase their kids’ exposure to sunlight without clear medical guidance. Too much vitamin D causes excessively high levels of calcium with symptoms that include weakness, headache, sleepiness, constipation, nausea, bone pain and kidney stones.
While there is no disbelief that severe vitamin D deficiency leads to rickets in childhood and adolescence, the impact of vitamin deficiency on health, particularly non‐skeletal health effects, is also prevalent. It has always been expected that teenagers are not at risk of low vitamin D status; however, a number of recent case studies have shown this is not the case, especially during winter.