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4059 Does-your-child-have-soft-and-weak-bones

Does your child have soft and weak bones?

Does your child have soft and weak bones?

Rickets is a bone disease that affects infants and young children. It is the softening and weakening of bones in children often because of an extreme vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D promotes phosphorus and calcium absorption from the gastrointestinal tract that is essential for maintaining healthy bones. A child's body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food. Sometimes, children may be born with or develop medical conditions that can affect the way their bodies absorb vitamin D such as having kidney problems, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and cystic fibrosis.

Risk factors of rickets include:

• Children between 3 to 36 months old are more susceptible to risks because their skeletons are growing rapidly
• Having dark skin as it doesn't react as strongly as lighter coloured skin, so it produces less vitamin D
• Premature babies are more likely to develop rickets

What are the signs and symptoms of rickets?

• Delayed growth
• Muscle weakness
• Having pain in the pelvis, spine and legs
• Bowed legs
• Breastbone projection
• Thickened ankles and wrists

You can protect your child from the effects of rickets by understanding the risk factors of Vitamin D deficiency and taking steps to prevent it:

• A sensible balance of exposure and protection from the sun can protect one against vitamin D deficiency without putting your child at risk of skin cancer.
• A diet including foods rich in vitamin D and calcium.

Contact your doctor if your child develops muscle weakness, bone pain or skeletal deformities!