Wednesday, April 19, 2023

When should I give my child vitamin D? And what is its benefit to the health of the child? Signs of vitamin D deficiency in infants

Importance of Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is one of the important vitamins that children need during growth, starting from infancy. This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium well, build children's bones and protect them from rickets, or what is medically called "osteomalacia".
The body obtains what it needs of vitamin D by exposure to healthy sunlight in the early morning before nine o'clock or after the afternoon, and it is also found in limited doses in some foods, such as: fish and eggs.

Signs of vitamin D deficiency in infants:

The CDC estimated that only 20% to 37% of formula-fed infants get the vitamin D they need, while this percentage drops to 5% to 13% among formula-fed infants. They are breastfed. Symptoms of severe vitamin D deficiency in infants include:
  • Osteomalacia or rickets, which causes the bones to become weak and arched.
  • delayed teething.
  • Delayed growth, evident in short stature.
  • Frequent long colds, especially in the winter.
  • The severity of the child's temper and nervousness.

Reasons to take Vitamin D:

Some doctors prescribe vitamin D drops for infants from the first day of birth, especially if the child was born prematurely or was born in an area where he is not exposed to sunlight for long periods.

  While some doctors recommend giving vitamin D drops to children from 2 or 4 months of age, in any case, all infants and young children, between the ages of six months to five years, should take vitamin D supplements daily in the form of oral drops.

Some doctors believe that the beginning of the child's intake of vitamin before 6 months will not have a significant effect, and that the basis is for the child to take the doses regularly when he reaches 6 months or shortly before that, depending on the child's condition and needs, as well as the breast-feeding he receives, whether it is artificial or natural.

In general, the doctor may prescribe vitamin D drops for children who are formula-fed a little later than children who are breast-fed, as most types of formula milk already contain nutritional supplements, including vitamin D. While breast milk is poor in its vitamin D content, taking vitamin D as a food supplement is essential in this case due to the difficulty of obtaining an adequate amount of it through food alone or exposure to the sun only.

So if you're breast-feeding and haven't taken vitamin D supplements throughout your pregnancy or while you're breast-feeding, your doctor may recommend giving your baby vitamin D drops from the first month of birth or the second month.

Benefits of Vitamin D for Babies:

  • Helps healthy bone growth, prevention of rickets and osteomalacia.
  • Strengthens teeth and promotes their growth, especially in the teething phase.
  • It prevents type 1 diabetes.
  • Increases the child's body immunity to various diseases, and regulates the functioning of the immune system.
  • Prevents bowed legs, delayed walking, and crawling in young children.