A Guide to Prevent Rickets ; Have you ever wondered about how your babies would have stronger bones? It is no secret that healthy bones are directly related to our intake of Calcium and vitamin D.
For us as adults it is easy to get our daily needs of vit. D by adequate exposure to sun light (B ultraviolet rays) and to get our daily needs of calcium through calcium rich foods as milk and fish.
That situation is not the same in infants, for example, those who are exclusively breastfed cannot get their daily requirements of vit. D. Not only due to deficiency of mother’s breast milk in vit. D, but also due to lack of direct sun exposure and the use of sunscreen.
The risk of developing rickets becomes even more higher after weaning due to faulty weaning and the lack of both vit. D and calcium. Therefore, it is observed that the main age for developing rickets is between the age of 6 and 24 months.
Based on the previous information concerning the importance of vit. D and calcium, what can we do to protect our children from rickets?
The answer to that question depends on the age of your baby and the type of his feeding but basically a supplement of 400 IU per day of vitamin D is recommended for all breastfed infants and it is better that your baby gets weaned to a vitamin D fortified formula.
Simple rules to follow for rickets prevention
If you are a pregnant woman, do not forget about your own nutrition and vitamins intake to support your baby.
If you are nursing your baby with breastfeeding, vitamin D supplements are mandatory as described before.
Do not forget adequate sun exposure for your baby, preferably between 10 am and 2 pm. Do not use sunscreens. And avoid excessive exposure to protect against skin burns and cancers.
If you are about to wean your baby, start gradually to introduce calcium and vitamin D fortified formulas and food as vitamin D fortified infant formulas and cereals.
Report to the pediatrician you are following up with if you notice one or more of the following signs on your baby:
Bending or “bowing” of the bones of the legs.
Pain in bones and delayed walking
Appropriate treatment of gastroenteritis as it can lead to malabsorption of vitamin D, calcium and many other important nutrients.
A Guide to Prevent Rickets Finally I would like to tell you that rickets is a totally curable and reversible disease if we only could discover it early so do not hesitate to seek medical advice for the sake of better health to your baby.