Why Vitamin D is Important for Children?
Created by Nandini Muralidharan Updated on Nov 16, 2021
Do you remember your mother telling you to catch some sunlight early in the morning? Sunlight is a superb source of vitamin D, one of the most essential building blocks for healthy bones. With too many indoor distractions like television and online games, outdoor play has reduced among children, and vitamin D deficiency has become extremely common. There are some food sources of vitamin D, too, which your child can benefit from. Read on to find out all about vitamin D, its sources, and consequences of deficiency...
- How to protect your baby from vitamin D deficiency
- Natural sources of vitamin D, and how important it is to get a lot of sunshine!
- The key benefits of vitamin D for children–how it protects them against rickets, strengthens their bones, teeth and natural immunity
- How vitamin D is essential for new mothers who are breastfeeding
- How getting some sunshine and exercise can help new mothers increase their vitamin D levels.
Why Does My Child Need Vitamin D?
Here’s why vitamin D is important for your child’s growth.
- Bone Development: Vitamin D is essential for your child’s bones to develop well
- Healing: In the event of an injury, vitamin D helps in the healing of bones
- Prevents & Cures Rickets: Rickets is a skeletal disorder caused by a deficiency of vitamin D, phosphate and calcium. It is identified by an X-ray examination of the bones of the legs. Rickets can be cured quickly with an extra dose of oral Vitamin D
- Increases the body’s Natural Immunity: Vitamin D protects from flu, cold, and infections
- Lowers risk of cancer and heart disease: Vitamin D has been linked to the reduction in risk of some types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases
What Are The Sources Of Vitamin D?
Here are some sources of Vitamin D that are easily accessible.
- Sunlight: When your skin is exposed to natural sunlight, your body can make vitamin D. This also makes it tough to get too much vitamin D from the sun, given that we spend most of our time indoors. Also, care needs to be taken to protect the skin from damage due to over-exposure and skin cancer
Food sources: Some foods containing vitamin D are
- fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel
- egg yolks
- fortified milk
- orange juice
- soy milk
- Supplements: Your child’s pediatrician might recommend a multivitamin supplement containing vitamin D if she doesn’t get enough from natural sources
Helpful Read: Tips to Deal With Vitamin D Deficiency in Children
Who Is At A Risk Of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Babies are most at risk of vitamin D deficiency if:
- A breastfed baby whose mother is deficient in vitamin D: Since a breastfed baby’s only source of nutrition is breast milk, she can have a vitamin D deficiency if her mother faces the issue
- They have darker skin: Melanin, the pigment in the skin acts to filter out the UVB rays from the sun, resulting in the body making lesser vitamin D
- They live in northern regions: In northern regions, sun sighting is quite rare and hence the child can be vitamin D deficient. All breastfed babies should be given a daily supplement of vitamin D, after consulting with a pediatrician
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin D Deficiency In Children?
Here are some signs to watch out in kids, read these
- Broken bones, or muscle weakness
- Teeth falling out, or soft enamel
- Frequently feeling exhausted without too much activity
What Are The Effects Of A Vitamin D Deficiency?
Here are some commonly known effects of a vitamin D deficiency:
- Rickets: a condition that causes bones to soften, usually in children
- Lower immunity: A lack of vitamin D can weaken the immune system, making children more susceptible to catching infections such as pneumonia
- Increased risk of osteoporosis: A vitamin D deficiency starting at a young age leads to higher risk of osteoporosis in later years
- Depression: Some studies indicate that lower levels of vitamin D can contribute to depression that occurs seasonally
So, it’s no surprise that vitamin D is called a wonder vitamin, and the Sunshine Vitamin. Its role in overall child's health and development of your child is extremely important. Make sure you get plenty of sunlight, especially early in the mornings, during your pregnancy. If you have a very young baby, expose her to sunlight in the morning, around 7:30 – 8 AM, not later than that. With older children, make sure they get plenty of outdoor play, instead of being cooped up indoors always.
Take care to use hats and sun protection! Happy parenting!
Did you find our blog on the importance of Vitamin D useful? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!
| Jul 31, 2017
Thanks a lot. very informative article. I would like to ask a query here. is vitamin D useful to grow the height of children? As I have said that it help in absorption of calcium. ...so alongwith strenghtning of bones is it useful in overall growth? My son is 8 years old but his height is growing at a very lower rate. I am giving him calcium n iron. He ur also very active n having a good immune system . But I am very upset where his height is concerned. please suggest me something in that regard... thank you so much...
| Oct 09, 2017
hello your article is very much informative I would like to ask you one thing about my son he is around 4 years not yet completed but he is very aggressive most of the times hitting me n everyone if we are not listening him. dr told me he is lacking vit d3 and so the syrup is taking .I also had tested his thyroid levels they all are normal. i am worried about him. kindly suggest me how to calm down him. in school he is very calm n quiet teacher told is. but at home the situation is out of control
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