All You Need To Know – Vitamin D Deficiency In Children

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient for the body. It helps absorb calcium and is therefore closely linked to muscle and bone health. Without Vitamin D, your bones and muscle tissues are likely to be stunted. For children, having enough Vitamin D is more critical than for adults, as their tissues are still developing and their bodies constantly growing. However, Vitamin D can often be hard to find. A recent study shows 78%of the UAE population has vitamin D deficiency especially in infants that depend on breastfeeding. However, there is no accurate calculation for the children because of a lack of screening tests. An average adult only receives 25% of the required Vitamin D intake from food, as only a few foods contain it. Most of the Vitamin D in the human body is created in the skin when we are exposed to the sun. Despite the lack of the vitamin in food, it is absolutely essential that your child gets enough of Vitamin D for a healthy and safe life. 
Vitamin D Deficiency
Since the vitamin can be especially hard to find in food, many are prone to have a deficiency, which can develop into more complicated diseases. When children lack Vitamin D in their bodies, they can often develop an illness called Rickets, which will have drastic consequences on the child’s future. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to the child developing bone and muscle diseases, and increasing their risk of getting cancer, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 
Children At A Higher Risk Of Having A Deficiency
  1. Those who have higher levels of melanin, in other words, children with darker skin. Their body would need more time under the sun to develop the needed amount of Vitamin D, since their skin acts as a natural sun-block.
  2. Those who aren’t often exposed to the sun. This could be because they live in a country that lacks sunshine, or because they usually wear clothing outside. In any case, if your child isn’t regularly exposed to the sun, they would not be able to create enough vitamin D.
  3. Obesity can also make your child more likely to lack vitamin D.
Signs Your Child Might Lack Vitamin D
  1. They have a weak immune system. Children who get sick often might not be receiving enough vitamin D, although that isn’t always the case. If your children are constantly falling sick, it might be a good idea to take them to a doctor.
  2. Their wounds take a longer time to heal. Children whose bodies take a longer time to heal than usual could be having a vitamin D deficiency, as this could be a sign of their bodies being unable to generate muscular tissues efficiently.
  3. They are constantly tired. Fatigue can be a telltale sign of vitamin D deficiency. If you find your child tired most of the time, you should take them to see a doctor.
  4. More symptoms could include-  excessive hair loss; bone, joint or muscle pain; etc.
If you think that your child has vitamin D deficiency you should reach out to a pediatrician, as when this issue isn’t addressed the consequences can be quite costly. At the IBO Medical Center, we offer different services that can provide the necessary treatment for your child. If you’re looking to connect with some of the best pediatricians in Sharjah,  including Dr. Sokaina Hydar of IBO would be the right choice for you.For any questions or consultations, you should reach out to us at the IBO Medical Center. If you have medical concerns about your child, our doctors are ready to help. 
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