More and more professionals are recommending that parents take their children to play outside take a walk in the fresh air and so that they can enjoy a bit of the sun. This is because the baby’s body produces vitamin D with sunlight, so it is recommended to follow the professional’s instructions so that the child has optimal levels of this nutrient; However, the child’s sun exposure must be careful and controlled, so it is essential to consult a pediatrician to find out the best way to do it.
Many young children are deficient in vitamin D, so many professionals recommend supplementing them with vitamin D for 12 months. Although it is essential to follow the instructions of a professional for this, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we offer you much information about the vitamin D supplement for babies: dosage and side effects.
Table of Contents
The function of vitamin D in babies
The primary function of vitamin D in the body is its intervention in the formation and development of bone structures. It participates in the production and maturation of bone stem cells. It is essential for the intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the food eaten. It also maintains the balance of these minerals in the blood, regulating the necessary proportion for the bones. ; the excess sends it to the kidneys to be disposed of with the urine.
These processes are essential for the formation and mineralization of bones and cartilage to be adequate, with the bone density necessary for the development of the skeleton and providing the support that the body requires. For this reason, it is recommended that vitamin D supplements be administered to babies in the first years of life so that the bones finish developing correctly, for example, in the closure and strengthening of the head, an area that is sometimes called fontanel or soft spot.
Another function of vitamin D is that it is involved in the production and regulation of cells of the immune system, insulin, and cell growth. In these cases, it acts as if it were a hormone, so it is sometimes considered a prohormone or hormonal precursor.
Vitamin D supplement dosage for babies
Regardless of the diet or habits that are followed, it is recommended to give vitamin D supplements to all babies, either in liquid or pill form, at least until the first six months of life, although the ideal is until the first year. After this time, you can go to the doctor to indicate if it is necessary to continue giving the supplement to the infant or if a balanced diet is sufficient.
The recommended dose of vitamin D for babies in the supplement is 400 IU daily, which begins to be administered on the days of the baby’s birth. When the infant is fed only with breast milk, this dose of vitamin D must be maintained until the child is no longer breastfed and is drinking at least 1 liter of whole milk a day, approximately after 12 months of life.
On the other hand, if the infant consumes only formula milk for babies, it is essential to read the table of nutrients since some products are added 400 IU of vitamin D, so it is not necessary to administer the supplement only if the baby consumes at least 1 liter of said milk daily. Either way, your pediatrician will give you the recommendations that fit your condition.
Consequences of vitamin D deficiency in children
The main consequence of not giving the baby vitamin D in the correct dose is rickets. It is a disease that is characterized by skeletal malformations due to the poor absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the bones and cartilage; that is, there is a loss of bone density, which causes weak and soft structures, mainly affecting the skull, legs, and ribs. Also, this vitamin D deficiency can cause seizures, shortness of breath, bone pain, and muscle weakness in infants.
In addition, it is thought that low levels of vitamin D are related and may contribute to the development of specific pathologies, in which diabetes, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases such as, for example, multiple sclerosis and even mental disorders stand out, like depression.
Adverse reactions to vitamin D supplementation in infants
Although the vitamin D supplement does not generate any side effects if it is administered more than the recommended dose or for any reason, it accumulates, there is an increase of said vitamin in the baby’s body; it could cause some adverse symptoms. However, this is not very common, as the body tolerates up to a maximum vitamin D level of 1000 IU in children younger than six months and 1500 IU for infants 6 to 12 months of age.
When these cases do occur, the baby may have symptoms of an adverse reaction to vitamin D supplements, such as the following:
- To be thirsty
- Not wanting to eat
- Present vomiting
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Skin itch
- Irritated eyes
- Frequent urination
- Tiredness and irritability
On the other hand, a very high concentration of vitamin D from supplements leads to complications such as hypercalcemia, that is, the level of calcium has increased too much in the body, and this excess, in turn, can cause kidney stones, loss of bone mass and calcium buildup in blood vessels or organs such as the heart and kidneys.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.