Vitamin D helps to form and maintain healthy bones and muscles throughout childhood. Australia is well known for its sunshine and pleasant climate which makes it difficult to believe that Vitamin D insufficiency is now more common in Australia than was once thought.
What are the risk factors?
Increased sun safety practices and less time spent outdoors are some of the factors that may make Vitamin D insufficiency more likely in a child. Children with naturally darker skin may also be at a higher risk as darker skin tends to produce less Vitamin D than lighter skin tones. Also children born to mothers who are Vitamin D insufficient and who are exclusively breastfed may be more predisposed to an insufficiency in this important nutrient. Children who are growing rapidly and do not have adequate calcium intake may also require additional Vitamin D, particularly in winter.
Symptoms of insufficiency in children may not always be obvious. Inadequate Vitamin D can also cause a higher predisposition towards broken bones as well as general muscle weakness and cramps. Dental problems are another area where Vitamin D insufficiency may become apparent. Vitamin D may help to maintain the normal growth and development of teeth in children. Soft tooth enamel and teeth failing to form adequately may be signs of a Vitamin D insufficiency in children.
A simple blood test performed by your healthcare practitioner can confirm if your child is insufficient in Vitamin D. It may be worth considering if your child has any risk factors. Your healthcare practitioner will be able to recommend if Vitamin D supplementation such as Ostelin Kids Calcium & Vitamin D3 is required. A dosage of 400IU may be recommended for Vitamin D insufficiency in children.
Maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels during pregnancy may have long term benefits for the child’s general health and wellbeing. Vitamin D is necessary for the development of the baby’s skeleton as it affects the amount of calcium absorbed into the baby’s bones.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet.