Posts for tag: vitamin D
Vitamin D is critical for all of us, but especially children. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, as well as for the support and development of a healthy body. Children with severe vitamin D deficiencies may develop muscle weakness, delayed motor development, rickets, and fractures.
Unlike most vitamins, which we can often get through diet alone, vitamin D is acquired through time spent in the sun. You won’t find many foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, if you’re in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight then chances are good your child may not be getting enough vitamin D.
Children get about 80 percent of their vitamin D from sunlight. So if your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors (especially during the winter months) it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about ways to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin D.
Children with certain health problems such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, as well as children who’ve undergone bone surgeries may require more vitamin D. This is something you should discuss with your pediatrician. Children over 1-year-old need at least 600 IU of vitamin D (or more) a day. Ideally, children should get around 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
We also know that too much time in the sun can also pose risks for children, especially their skin. During the summer months, children only need a few minutes a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D. During the winter months, kids should get about 2-3 hours per week. Children under 6 months old should never be placed in direct sunlight.
Children with darker skin will also need to spend more time in the sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D as kids with lighter skin. Just sitting inside near windows won’t be enough for your child’s body to produce vitamin D.
Most of us know that vitmain D is important for healthy bones. But alomst daily, it seems, we learn more about the significance of vitamin D on our health. Now, a recent study suggests a modest decrease in the risk of some infections in people who take a vitmain D supplement, particulalr if they are not getting enough from their diet.
But are we getting enough vitmain D?
While our bodies make vitmain D from exposure to sunlight, we try to avoid sunlight as much as possible over concern about the damaging, cumulative impact of ultraviolet light. And getting vitmain D from our diet isn't always easy, especially for children. Infants who breast feed absorb most of the vitmain D from the milk they drink, but the amount of vitmain D in breast milk is not very high. And most formula-fed babies don't drink enough formiula to get an adequate amount of vitmain D. In 2014 the American Acedmy of Pediatrics updated its recommendations for vitmain D supplementaion in infants and children. It is recommended that all breast-fed babies, and formula-fed babies who drink less than 32 oz per day (that's pretty much all babies) should receive a supplement of 400 IU of vitmain per day. Older children who don't get enough from their diet, should get 600 IU per day (click here for more).