Vitamin D is very important especially in the case of babies, who grow spectacularly in the first two years of life, but also in the case of children who have reached the age of puberty, when the rate of growth accelerates again. Vitamin D is actually a group of vitamins, but the two relevant forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D2 is found in certain foods, but in small amounts, while vitamin D3 is produced in the skin through exposure to sunlight. In the first year of life, vitamin D deficiency in children can lead to deficiency rickets, respectively to bone demineralization. Currently, the general recommendation is that all children receive drops of vitamin D3, from the first days of life.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common causes of deficiency rickets. This is a metabolic disease specific to childhood and occurs due to rapid growth during this period. In Romania, the frequency of deficiency rickets is high, and the disease is a major risk factor in infant morbidity. Due to vitamin D deficiency, a major delay in bone development can occur. More precisely, the bones demineralize, become brittle and deform.
For the prevention of rickets, in Romania (and not only), doctors recommend that babies receive vitamin D3 supplements from the first days of life. Vigantol is the most frequently used product in our country, because it is cheap and can be issued free of charge on the basis of medical prescription. But there are other products, some of which are natural.
Pediatricians recommend that children receive vitamin D3 daily until they turn 2 years old.
After the age of 2 years and up to 7 years, the administration is done only in the months of spring, autumn and winter. That is, the months that contain the letter R, to be easier to remember.
The need for vitamin D differs from one country to another, depending on the climatic conditions. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), for example, recommends 400 IU/day, but in Romania the prophylactic dose has been set at 500 – 1,000 IU/day, i.e. 1-2 drops of Vigantol.
Attention, however, the optimal dose can only be established by the pediatrician, and it is often adjusted by the orthopedist, at the control for hip dysplasia from 8 weeks. So whether it’s one, or there are two drops, or more, don’t make this decision on your own, just because other mothers have done it. The number of vitamin D3 drops must be adjusted according to the child’s growth rate, his age, the season or the presence of conditions such as malabsorption syndrome.
Ideally, vitamin D drops should be dripped directly into the child’s mouth, because being an oily substance, they will otherwise remain on the spoon or on the walls of the bottle.
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