Why do kids need vitamin D? Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to building your immune system and growing up strong and healthy.
It is a nutrient that builds and maintains your bones strong and healthy. It also regulates many other functions in your body, such as muscle function and brain cell activity.
Vitamin D has numerous benefits for children as well as adults. It's associated with healthy bones, strengthened immune system, possible disease prevention, and lower risk for premature birth.
Why is vitamin D essential for kids?
Because vitamin D is so important, your children need to get lots of it. Playing in the sun for a few hours a week or giving your child daily supplements or multivitamins for kids with vitamin D.
Children, as well as babies, need a larger dosage of vitamin D for bone growth and development. It’s very much needed because vitamin D helps them absorb calcium (a mineral necessary for healthy bones and strong teeth).
Vitamin D against numerous diseases
Vitamin D is great for disease prevention. Researchers say that vitamin D plays a great role in the prevention of diseases like heart disease and cancer. It also plays a role in preventing seasonal and other kinds of flu.
There have been several studies that have failed to link vitamin D and the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, the most common type in children.
In addition, the idea that vitamin D supplements may prevent type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes common in older children and adults, wasn’t successful.
Among other things, it’s essential to take vitamin D supplements when you're expecting because it lowers the risk of premature birth. It lowers down by 60 percent when vitamin D blood levels are above average.
Strong bones are the most significant benefit of vitamin D. However, the vitamin is also well known to strengthen defenses against infections, support nervous system health, and may also improve heart and lung health.
What children are at risk of low vitamin D?
Vitamin deficiency is very serious, especially when it comes to vitamin D. There are a few specific things you need to be aware of when it comes to your child’s health. Firstly, children with very dark skin. The dark color of their skin (melanin) acts as a natural sunscreen and it increases the time they need to spend in the sun.
Next, children whose skin is rarely exposed to the sun e.g. those who always stay inside or who wear covering clothes. Their skin from time to time needs to have contact with the sun.
Prematurely born babies and breastfed babies have one or more of the above risk factors. When it comes to food babies most often eat, breast milk is the best type even though it doesn’t contain much vitamin D. The baby will get their initial levels of vitamin D from their mother; so, they are at risk of low vitamin D if their mother has low vitamin D and/or if they have dark skin.
Lastly, children with conditions affecting how the body absorbs and controls vitamin D, such as liver disease, kidney disease, problems absorbing food (e.g. coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease), and some medicines (such as some epilepsy medicines).
How to easily increase your vitamin D levels?
Vitamin D gets into our body either from sunlight or nutrition. From April until the end of October, spending just about 15 to 30 minutes outside in the middle of the day with hands and face exposed will stimulate the skin to absorb all the vitamin D your child needs.
In fact, on a sunny summer day, a child wearing a bathing suit can generate up to 20,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D after only 15 to 30 minutes spent in the sun.
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