Ask The Pediatrician: Kids Need More Vitamin D

With shorter days and longer nights, kids might miss out on the chance to soak in some important sunshine and Vitamin D. In fact, doctors say most of us aren't getting enough. Find out why the deficiency could be devastating for children.

Elizabeth Kroll has two growing boys: four-year-old Will and two-year-old Andrew. Mom says they both drink milk which is good news. Because when it comes to strong bones, Vitamin D is a must.

But doctors say children aren't getting enough. In the past 20-years, this has resulted in more broken bones and fractures.

Dr. Clancy McNally said, "With major Vitamin D deficiency you can see something called rickets - which causes a bowing of the legs. The bones are real weak. Other kids may not grow so well."

So how do you know if your child is getting enough Vitamin D? Pediatricians say if they drink 32 ounces of whole Vitamin D milk a day (that's one whole quart) they're good. But the problem is, doctors say most kids don't.

So doctors are recommending Vitamin D supplements - for everyone.

"Even for kids," said Dr. McNally. "They're recommending it actually from day-one with infants."

They want children to get at least 400 international units of Vitamin D outside of their regular diet. And don't forget time outside. That's important, too.

Dr. McNally said, "Part of the way our body makes more Vitamin D into its useable forms is through sunlight. And so if we're not getting enough sunlight, then we're not creating that store in our body."

The Kroll boys can't wait to take in some sunshine. Their mother Elizabeth says, "They like to play outside so we try to get them out if the weather is even remotely warm."

Doctor say it's great for their bodies and bones.

Dr. McNally says half-an-hour outside is a good goal. Just remember the sunscreen. Keeping foods like yogurt and cheese in your diet can also help boost your Vitamin D.

About the Author...
Serese Cole
Serese is no stranger to the Midwest. She was born and raised in Kansas City and after years of moving from state to state - has called Nebraska home the last decade.

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