How to Treat Vitamin D Deficiency in Kids

All kids need to visit the doctor regularly from birth up to adulthood. There are specific examinations, vital immunizations, and routine bloodwork needed to be sure they are growing properly and developing within the normal range of other children the same age.

Vitamin D is responsible for helping to support muscle function, bone health, and immune function. It is vital for the overall growth of the skeletal system. This vitamin is essential in maintaining a healthy balance within the human body.

Vitamin D deficiency affects more than 1 billion people across the globe. Hopefully, by working with physicians and focusing on the signs and symptoms, this deficiency will become less common in future years to come.

Signs of vitamin D deficiency in children

Any parent who is concerned about their child should speak to their primary care physician right away. Your child’s doctor can run tests and look for signs and symptoms of any type of vitamin D deficiency as well as any other vitamin deficiencies.

  • Growth failure
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness

The symptoms listed above are only a few that doctors recognize as noticeable signs of a vitamin D deficiency. They can run bloodwork and find out exactly what could be causing your child’s symptoms, and once diagnosed, you can move on with the treatment prescribed.

How to combat a vitamin D deficiency

Depending on your child’s age, there are different ways to fight a lack of vitamin D. If your infant was just born and you are a breastfeeding mom, your doctor can incorporate a 400 IU vitamin D supplement every day, beginning the first few days after birth.

Everyone needs vitamin D throughout their life, and it is especially important during the first year of life. Babies have lower vitamin D needs than adults and teens, but it is still very important that their intake is monitored.

As a child grows, their vitamin D intake needs to be at a level of around 600 IU. Some doctors say this intake level should be higher, at least 1000 IU, and some will argue that 600 IU is a good amount.

However, no one will argue that vitamin D at any level of intake is good for the body.

A diet that supports healthy vitamin D levels

Kids of all ages need to feel their best. They are active and playing and require nutrients to grow and develop into healthy adults. Certain foods will support the need for vitamin D.

  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Fortified milk
  • Egg yolks

Due to the small selection of foods that contain vitamin D, it is understandable that it would be difficult to receive the proper amounts to help maintain a healthy balance. Other than the foods listed, sunlight is also a way for us to absorb vitamin D, but it is unsure what amount of exposure can give the desired amounts of the vitamin dosage needed.

It is also recommended that when you take your child outside, before applying sunscreen, you should allow them 10 to 15 minutes of playtime in the direct sunshine to help absorb vitamin D naturally. It will prove to be very beneficial when this is done routinely.

Oral vitamins

Over-the-counter oral medications and supplements contain around 600 IU of vitamin D. This dosage amount is recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Oral vitamin D supplements are needed more during the winter months than in the summer months.

Being outside in the summer can help generate a healthy amount of natural vitamin D to be absorbed into the skin. Natural vitamin D can work just as well as oral supplements. If your child does not like to be outdoors much, they could benefit from oral vitamin D medications all year long.

IV vitamins

IV vitamins provide a way for the body to get the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins needed directly into the bloodstream through an IV bag. An IV bag can be specifically designed for your child’s needs. It can be given under the careful monitoring of your child’s physician.

IV therapy works quicker than oral supplements because it provides 100% absorption. Oral supplements take a few weeks to show any effects, but with a vitamin IV, the results are felt almost immediately.

Talk to your doctor

If you feel your child is lacking in vitamin D or any type of vitamin deficiency, discuss your concerns with your child’s physician sooner rather than later. A lack of vitamin D can cause brittle bones, skeletal deformities, and even frequent fractures.

Your doctor can diagnose and treat a vitamin D deficiency right away with either diet, oral supplements, or vitamin IV therapy.

There are many ways to treat any lack of vitamins, and your child’s primary care physician is the place to start.

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