Vitamin D in Newborns and Children
Hey all super parents!
Your kids drinking milk and basking in the sun like little champions, you'd think they're getting all the Vitamin D they need, right?
However, Vitamin D deficiency is surprisingly common in children and can have significant impacts on their growth and overall health.
In this blog, we will explore why Vitamin D is essential for your child, who is at risk of deficiency, symptoms to watch out for, the recommended daily intake, and safe ways to ensure your child gets enough of this vital nutrient.
Why do Kids need Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is not just about bones and teeth; Vitamin D is like the guardian of growth, the protector of the immune system, and even the genius behind brain functions. With its incredible powers, it fights fatigue and keeps those nasty aches and pains at bay.
Oh, and did we mention it's an expert bone saver, preventing the dreaded softening of bones known as rickets?
Now that's some remarkable stuff!
Who is more at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
Well, several factors can put children at a higher risk of Vitamin D deficiency. These include:
- Infants who are exclusively breastfed or consume less than 1000 mL of infant formula daily,
- Children residing in regions with limited sunlight exposure,
- Those with obesity, deeply pigmented skin, or who cover up for cultural reasons,
- Individuals with digestive disorders or taking medications that impede Vitamin D absorption,
- Children with limited outdoor play due to institutionalization or hospitalization.
Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency in Children
Are your kids not at the top of their game?
Keep an eye out for these secret clues—lower limb pain that strikes at night, delayed walking, mysterious aches and weakness, any deformity, and calcium imbalance leading to tetany, cardiomyopathy, or seizures. They could be signs of sneaky Vitamin D deficiency.
Moreover, it can lead to rickets, delayed motor development, and risk of fractures in children.
How much vitamin D does my child need? Should my child take a Vitamin D supplement?
While sunlight exposure helps the skin produce Vitamin D, it is not recommended to make your little bundle of joy bask in the sun, as it can be harmful to their delicate skin causing skin cancer.
Just like adults, children also need to use sunscreen regularly to protect their skin from harmful UV rays.
For babies up to one year of age, the Department of Health and Social Care recommends a daily intake of 8.5 to 10 micrograms (340-400 IU) of Vitamin D throughout the year.
This recommendation applies to babies who are breastfed or formula-fed with less than 500ml of infant formula per day, as the formula is already fortified with Vitamin D. Breast milk, while essential for a baby's nutrition, may not provide sufficient Vitamin D, necessitating a supplement of 400 IU per day for breastfed infants.
As children grow to the age of 1-2 years and beyond, their daily Vitamin D requirement remains at 10 micrograms (400 IU) throughout the year.
Stay wise, though! Each child is unique, and some may require higher doses of Vitamin D due to severe deficiencies. It's crucial to seek personalized advice from a healthcare professional in such cases.
Vitamin D supplements for children available in Pakistan
In Pakistan, various Vitamin D supplements are available for children, such as SunnyD drops, which contain 400 IU of Vitamin D3, the most effective form of Vitamin D.
Find it online at D-dukaan.com and arm your heroes against the menace of Vitamin D deficiency!
What happens if my child takes too much vitamin D?
Though vitamin toxicity is rare, taking too many vitamin D supplements over a long period can cause too much calcium to build up in the body (hypercalcaemia).
When considering supplements, it is essential not to exceed the recommended dosage to avoid hypercalcemia, which potentially causes harm to bones, kidneys, and the heart.
Through safe supplementation and caring for your child's Vitamin D levels, you can ensure your little champions grow up strong, healthy, and ready to take on any challenge that comes their way.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek the advice of your healthcare provider for personalized recommendations.