We hardly take our kids in sun worrying about the sun burns or tanning? But have you ever thought of its circumstances? There is no doubt that Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for the healthy development of bones in children. When this vitamin is not present in sufficient amounts, it can lead to fragile, or misshapen bones, and even soft bones or rickets. A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to depression, heart disease, colon and prostate cancers. Without sufficient intake of vitamin D, calcium is not efficiently absorbed by the body.
Read below to know more about the importance of Vitamin D for children:
Why Should children Take Vitamin D?
Children should take vitamin D because without it, calcium will not be absorbed by the body. As a result, your child may have to suffer from ailments like rickets and low bone density. Broken bones and bowing legs are two common results of vitamin D deficiency. Breast milk contains virtually no vitamin D, and is dependant upon the mother’ diet.
Other Consequences Of A Lack Of Vitamin D
A lack of vitamin D can have a detrimental impact on mental function. Doctors have found a correlation between depressive disorders in children, adults, and adolescents and a lack of vitamin D. Certain cancers such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer are also linked to a lack of vitamin D in take.
How Can You Ensure Your Child Is Getting Enough Vitamin D?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in California, even 15 minutes of exposure to the sun per week produces adequate amount of vitamin D. Small amounts of exposure to UVB rays is enough to produce this necessary nutrient. The academy recommends that children and adults should avoid being in the sun between the hours of 10 a.m and 4 p.m. Wearing sunscreen and being outdoors does not count because the sunscreen blocks absorption of vitamin D.
Other Ways Of Getting Vitamin D
One of the best ways to ensure that your child is getting enough of this vitamin is through diet. Foods such as yogurt, salmon, mackerel, and fortified milk contain adequate levels of vitamin D. Other dietary sources of vitamin D include button mushrooms, eggs, cod liver oil, beef liver, and canned tuna.
Vitamin D supplements are also available in tablet or chewable form. Beware of taking too much of this vitamin. Only administer this vitamin under the care and direction of a pediatrician.
How Much Vitamin D Should A child Be Getting?
Infants up to 6 months: 400 IU/day to 1,000 IU/day
Infants aged 6-12 months: 400 IU/day to 1,500 IU/day
Age 1 to 3 years: 600 IU/day to 2,500 IU/day
Age 4 to 8 years: 600 IU/day to 3,000 IU/day
Age 9 and up: 600 IU/day to 4,000 IU/day
Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for the healthy development of bones in young children. Insufficient amounts of this crucial supplement can lead to detrimental effects in later developmental years. If you are concerned about your child’s intake, speak to your child’s pediatrician.
Hopefully, now you will encourage your child go and play outside for some time!