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Rickets Disease - Treatment for Your Child

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As I expressed in my previous article on rickets it is important to understand that this is generally a condition that affects infants and children due to a severe deficiency in vitamin D. While most associate vitamin D with sunshine, that is not always the case. Yes, sunlight is important for people to get. It is a natural mood lifter in my opinion, but a lack of sunshine is not what causes rickets. You also absorb vitamin D naturally through food. If you child is not eating the right foods or taking the right daily supplements, he or she could be at risk for rickets.

Breast-fed infants are at a higher risk of developing rickets because breast milk does not have a sufficient amount of vitamin D to stave off this condition. It is important to note that if you plan on breast feeding, or are in the process of it, you should speak with your child’s doctor about a vitamin D supplement.

If you start to notice possible signs of rickets, do not delay seeking medical advice. The good news is that rickets is easily treatable if detected early enough. If left untreated, your child could be facing serious complications. In these cases, children can face a delay in motor skill development and skeletal deformities. These children are also at risk for dental defects, seizures and growth problems, particularly not growing to their potential height. Again, these complications can be completely avoided by listening to your child’s complaints and detecting a possible problem versus a growing pain - and if I remember correctly, my only growing pains occurred during school hours. So, don’t sell your child short if they have a chronic pain.

If your child has been diagnosed with rickets and sent home with instructions to up the vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus in their diet, you may be wondering, “how?” Well, let's discuss your options. Vitamin D-fortified foods can include breakfast cereal, processed milk, orange juice and fish – and by fish, I don’t mean fish sticks. Getting kids to eat fish can be a little tricky. I know this because I didn’t touch a piece of fish till I was 21. My parents tricked me starting with a swordfish steak. They told me it was pork. I ate it and loved every bite of it. Cleaned the plate actually. If my parents can trick me at 21, I can hopefully assume you can deliver some tricks to a five-year-old. Seriously though, fish has a lot of great nutrients including vitamin D that your children can benefit from if you can get them to take the dreaded first bite.

Although rickets may seem easy to cure, I want to make an important point that adding vitamin D to your child’s diet does not equate to throwing them in the sunlight for a few hours and calling it a day. Although the sun is a great source of vitamin D, it shouldn’t be their only source. Prolonged exposure to sunlight without sunscreen can open a whole new can of worms. I suggest a little “protected” sunlight combined with added vitamin D-fortified foods and your child should start seeing improvement within three months.

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EmpowHER Guest

My son is fice years old and suffering from rickets. Is it curable?

October 22, 2014 - 4:15am
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