Home > Food > General Nutrition > Vitamins and Supplements > Vitamin D Recommendations Doubled for Children
|

Vitamin D Recommendations Doubled for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has doubled the amount of vitamin D it recommends for infants, children, and adolescents. As recently as 2003, the AAP recommended 200 international units (IU) a day starting within the first two months of life. A new clinical report now calls for 400 IU a day, beginning within the first few days after a child is born.

Vitamin D is a main component in helping to prevent rickets. Rickets is a bone-softening illness that interferes with normal ossification. A child with a vitamin D deficiency is much more susceptible to this disease, which can cause bowed legs and other bone deformities. The AAP has found that 400 IU a day can help to prevent and treat rickets. In addition, adequate vitamin D throughout childhood can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Evidence also shows vitamin D plays a role in the immune system, and may help prevent infections, cancer, and diabetes in adults.

Vitamin D can be found in some foods and is also synthesized by exposure to sunlight. Children can get an adequate amount of the nutrient by drinking six glasses of milk a day or eating fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel. (High mercury levels in certain kinds of fish, including mackerel, can be harmful to a child's health and should be limited. For a full list of fish and their mercury levels, print off our seafood safety guide.) However, because children's diets are unlikely to meet these standards, and prolonged exposure to sunlight is not recommended, a supplement may be needed.



|


highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks