health

Is Your Child At Risk for Vitamin D Deficiency?

Kids today don’t spend enough quality time outside on a regular basis. Without access to sunshine on a regular basis, according to WebMd 7 out of 10 kids have low vitamin D putting them at risk for heart disease, rickets, and weak bones. Your child’s bones can’t properly absorb calcium and phosphate nor allow for proper bone mineralization without vitamin D.

putting them at risk for heart disease, rickets, and weak bones. Your child’s bones can’t properly absorb calcium and phosphate nor allow for proper bone mineralization without vitamin D.

Vitamin D3 is produced when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin and then your skin is able to synthesize it. In the deep layers of skin, there is a layer that contains a cholesterol substance called provitamin D3.

Provitamin D3 reacts with ultraviolet B rays to form Vitamin D3. Then the body sends it to the liver and kidneys. The liver converts it to calcidiol and the kidney converts it to calcitriol. After the conversions, your body is able to start using Vitamin D3 that it needs in order to function immediately and the rest is stored in fatty tissue and in the liver. When your body doesn’t have enough in reserves, your child’s body can’t function properly.

Children who don’t get enough Vitamin D may or may not exhibit the signs or symptoms of a deficiency. A simple blood draw at the doctor’s office can determine if your child has a Vitamin D deficiency. Catching a deficiency can be reversed or even prevented. Kids who take a Vitamin D supplement and spend plenty of time outdoors generally aren’t at risk for Vitamin D deficiency.

There are some kids who are high risk for Vitamin D deficiency and parents should monitor their Vitamin D levels as a precaution.

  • Older children
  • Girls
  • African-American children
  • Mexican-American children
  • Obese children
  • Kids who drank milk less than once a week
  • Kids who spent more than four hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or using computers

How to Prevent Low Vitamin D Levels for Kids

Go Outside: Children often spend hours a day watching television, playing on the computer or video games and spend less time outdoors. The easiest way to prevent Vitamin D deficiency is to spend 15 to 20 minutes in the direct sunshine. During this time, avoid putting on sunscreen. Sunscreen prevents your skin from absorbing the ultraviolet rays necessary for your body to produce Vitamin D.

Consume Food or Drinks that Contain Vitamin D: Eat a variety of the following foods on a regular basis.

  • fish
  • mushrooms
  • caviar
  • milk
  • cereal
  • butter
  • eggs
  • cheese

Even if you are eating several servings of foods rich in Vit D, just keep in mind that food alone can’t sustain your levels. You will still need to go outside.

Supplements: Start giving your child a Vitamin D supplements on a regular basis. Please consult your child’s pediatrician to determine the appropriate dosage.

Take Prescription Strength Supplement if Needed: If your child’s doctor has discovered that you are severely low or don’t have adequate reserves, it is possible that your child will be prescribed a prescription strength dose of Vitamin D3.

Vitamin D deficiency in children is a treatable nutritional deficiency that can be prevented. Low Vit D can cause a wide variety of health problems that can affect your growing child. If you have any questions or concerns about Vitamin D deficiency, please consult your child’s pediatrician or healthcare provider.

Did you that Vitamin D deficiency could cause your child to experience health problems? Does your child go outside and play on a regular basis?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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1 Comment

  1. Laura Adney says:

    I understand that Vitamin D deficiency is a huge issue amongst us all. What a good read

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