When it comes to children, it is easy not to notice a vitamin deficiency. In fact, Vitamin D deficiency is very common in both children and adults in the United States. Even kids who spend time outside in the sun may be told by their pediatric doctor that they have a deficiency.
Do you think your child might have a Vitamin D deficiency? There are a few things you need to know about this condition and what you should do.
Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Muscle Weakness
If your child has prolonged muscle weakness, you should consider Vitamin D deficiency. Your child may be playing outside and should be growing stronger, but you may notice that they get tired easily and do not have the same motor development that you might expect.
Vitamin D Deficiency Can Cause Weak Bones
It's not only the muscles that grow weaker with a lack of Vitamin D. In fact, your child's bones could also be weak because their bones are not able to absorb the necessary calcium. As a result, your child may have fractured or broken bones more often than other children.
Some children also develop issues like rickets because of the deficiency. This condition distorts the bones so that your child has bowed legs that make mobility more difficult.
Vitamin D Cannot Come From Diet Alone
While some foods do contain Vitamin D, most of the benefits will come from spending time outside in the sun. Children should spend time outside, but pediatric doctors can provide guidance during winter months or for children who are not able to spend much time outside.
Of course, you also have to weigh this against challenges like sunburns and heatstroke. Children need a few minutes of sun each day to get these benefits. For example, you might encourage 15 minutes of playtime each day.
You Can Bring Concerns to Your Child's Doctor
When your child exhibits signs that something may be wrong, you should feel comfortable discussing the issue with a pediatrician. You are around your child more than anybody else, so you are more likely to notice signs of a deficiency, including muscle weakness and bone weakness.
Your child's doctor can offer a lot more information about Vitamin D deficiency. A pediatrician can make personal recommendations regarding the steps you should take to ensure your child's health and safety are optimal. For more information, contact a pediatric doctor near you.