Vitamin D and Kids


Kids need Vitamin D to help absorb calcium, which of course helps bones. And research is showing there could be possible connections between Vitamin D defeciency and some conditions like Type 1 Diabetes, the second most common chronic disease in children. So it is really important that kids get enough Vitamin D but how to make sure they are getting it can be tricky.

The sun actually provides most of the Vitamin D needed, but sunscreen completely blocks the UVB rays that bodies convert into Vitamin D. Parents can always let their kids go out in the summer sun without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes (but babies should be at least 6 months old), say some experts, in order to soak up some UVB rays, but at the same time the potential skin damage from the sun's rays may make many parents reluctant to do this (include this mommy in that category). So what else can we do to make sure our kids get the Vitamin D they need?

Some foods are fortified with Vitamin D, but it can be tough to make sure kids take in enough of them, such as milk and some cereals, OJs, and yogurts. So some kids may need a supplement to make sure they are getting enough Vitamin D. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that kids get 400 IU of D per day, and specifically recommends a supplement for:

* exclusively and partially breastfed babies until they're drinking at least 32 ounces of milk or formula a day
* bottle-fed babies who drink fewer than 32 ounces of formula per day
* older kids who don't get 400 IU per day through other fortified foods. To get an idea, there are 100 IU of D in a cup of milk.

So if you are not sure if your child is at risk for a Vitamin D deficiency, you might want tocheck with your pediatrician.

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