Top five reason why doctors recommend vitamin D for infants and children

Top five reason why doctors recommend vitamin D for infants and children
Jan 14, 2020

Top five reasons why doctors recommend vitamin D for infants and children:

1. To supplement exclusively or partially breastfed infants

Breastmilk is the best nutrition that a mother can offer to her children. Due to a movement by healthcare organizations around the world to promote breastfeeding, more and more babies are being breastfed and for a longer period of time.[1,2]

Breastmilk is rich in nutrients. As more information has become available, studies now confirm that most mothers’ breastmilk does not contain enough vitamin D to meet their baby’s needs.[3,4,5] It is possible to increase a mother’s vitamin D level to reach sufficient amounts for her baby, this requires a high level of vitamin D which should be discussed with a physician beforehand. Another option is to give a daily dose of vitamin D to baby by following the recommendations of medical organizations.

2. To help prevent rickets

Vitamin D has been proven to help prevent bone softening and malformations. Rickets is a disease that used to be more commonplace decades ago. It almost disappeared for an extended period of time. However, in recent years, doctors have seen a spike in rickets cases in both cold and warm regions.[6]

3. To supplement the lack of vitamin D found naturally in foods

It is difficult to obtain vitamin D from foods. Certain foods are fortified with vitamin D, but it is difficult to eat enough of these foods in your own diet to pass enough vitamin D onto your baby through breastmilk. It is also likely your baby is not eating some of these foods yet, or she may just not be eating enough of these foods to obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin D.

4. To help the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth

Calcium and phosphorus are required to help develop and maintain strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is the agent that allows calcium and phosphorus to enter the bloodstream, so without vitamin D, ones’ calcium and phosphorus levels would drop. Considering childhood is a stage of rapid bone growth and development, this is the time when you want to ensure an optimal level of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus.

5. To make up for the strict sun protection that is required for children, especially infants

Since a baby’s skin is more sensitive to the sun, as well as the more serious effects of too much sun exposure in children compared to adults, various medical organizations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom recommend that infants under the age of six months up to 1 year old should remain out of direct sunlight. Moreover, it is recommended that infants wear sunscreen at all times when they are outside. [7,8,9,10,11,12]

Watch this video to learn more!


Originally published on June 12, 2016

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.


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