Does your child get enough vitamin D in their diet? Probably not, according to several different doctors and health organizations, who within the past year have come out with numerous recommendations that parents up their children's vitamin D intake. The most recent recommendation: On October 20, 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out and stated that all children should be given a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IUs.
Why It's Important
A problem that pediatricians thought had been solved with the vitamin D fortification of milk, cereal and other foods; vitamin D deficiency is once again emerging as a significant health risk in children. In a June 2008 study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Health, Dr. Catherine Gordon and her colleagues at the Children's Hospital in Boston tested toddlers for vitamin D intake. They found that 40% of toddlers tested below average levels. A previous study by Dr. Gordon among adolescents found that 42% of the older kids were deficient as well. "Vitamin D deficiency was twice as common in teens as we assumed it would be," she stated, adding that research from her and others has shown it to be a bigger health problem than anyone ever realized.
The potential adverse health consequences of not getting enough vitamin D are numerous: