Vitamin D and Kids (Guest Blogger from SOW Health)


Vitamin D and Kids (Guest Blogger from SOW Health)

September 24, 2011

As the seasons change from summer to fall one thing is certain: less sun exposure. Since vitamin D is our ‘sunshine vitamin,’ this also means less of this crutial vitamin. If you haven’t been supplementing your child(ren) with vitamin D, now is a perfect time to start. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Vitamin D is essential for breastfed infants: Levels of vitamin D in breast milk are lower than what’s required for proper growth and development in infants.
  • Vitamin D prevents the flu and common cold: Kids with higher vitamin D levels experience fewer illnesses. When they do get sick the illness is less severe and shorter in duration. In fact, vitamin D has the ability to prevent the flu more than the flu shot itself.
  • Vitamin D strengthens bones: Vitamin D deficiency results in childhood rickets and osteomalacia (undermineralized bone) in adults. Without sufficient vitamin D bones become thin and brittle.
  • Low Vitamin D is linked to allergies in children: In a study of over 3,000 children those with deficient vitamin D were 240% more likely to have a peanut allergy than children who had sufficient vitamin D levels.
  • Vitamin D decreases severity of asthma: In children, vitamin D appears to suppress asthma attacks. It makes lessens the frequency and severity of attacks in children diagnosed with asthma.
  • Vitamin D deficiency is a concern for Canadians: as much as 2/3rds of the Canadian population may be deficient in vitamin D. This is simply due to our latitude.

So, there are many reasons to pick up some vitamin D! If your child has a number of concerns above, it would be wise to have a simple blood test done to determine your child’s exact levels of vitamin D. Otherwise, supplementing preventatively will go a long way.

My suggestion would be a liquid vitamin D supplement which is more absorbable and easy to find (D drops is a brand found commonly at drug stores). A nice rule of thumb for children is 35IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.  This means 400IU for a newborn and 1000IU once they reach 30 pounds.

I hope you have a happy and healthy fall. Yours in health,

Sarah Oulahen, HBHSc, ND

Naturopathic Doctor



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