What are the benefits of vitamin D for kids?

What are the benefits of vitamin D for kids?
Mar 13, 2016

Bone health is of primal importance during childhood. Not only is this the period in one’s life where bones are actively growing and developing, but this is also the time when you are building up your bones to ensure good bone health in your senior years.

Adequate levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream are essential for the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. In fact, a deficiency in vitamin D can result in a childhood disease called rickets, where bones become soft and deformed. It was infrequent to hear of this disease a few decades ago as most children were getting an abundance of vitamin D while playing outside in the sun. Depending on where you live, it can be very difficult for children to play outdoors consistently. As a result, many children are getting much less time in the sun and consequently, less vitamin D. Some researchers express concern about a global re-emergence of rickets disease in children.[1] Rickets cases are seen particularly in children who live in northern areas, who are dark-skinned, or who are breastfed without appropriate vitamin D supplementation.[2,3]

Supplementation with vitamin D is recommended for all breastfed infants, and often recommended beyond infancy to support bone and teeth development.[1]

Children fall. It is inevitable. Healthy bones in children are important for the wear and tear during these tumbles. Insufficient vitamin D levels are associated with higher bone fractures in children.[4]

Vitamin D is important during childhood to support healthy bone development, but it is also important for keeping bones strong some thirty, forty or fifty years later in life. Approximately 90 per cent of bone growth takes place between the ages of 10 and 20 or 30 years.[5,6] During this period, a person’s bones will reach its peak density. Denser bones are a definite benefit because we start losing some of it in our later years. For women, bone loss mostly occurs rapidly immediately after menopause and then the rate of bone loss slows down.[7] If too much bone density is lost, this increases the risk of osteoporosis and of bone fractures. Osteoporosis has been referred to as “a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences” [5].

For region-specific recommendations for your child, click here.

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About the author:

Natalie Bourré | Healthcare Blogger

Natalie works as a consultant for various medical organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Her goal is to help them communicate accurate medical information in patient-friendly language via traditional and digital marketing methods.

Blog: https://marketing4health.net/

More by this Author:
Children and digital media: Time to get outside
Create a balance between technology and outdoor time.
How important is vitamin D as an adult?
With so much information around vitamin D in infancy and childhood, adults often forget about themselves. 
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