Treatment to relieve or correct symptoms and bone changes may include:
Adding biologically active vitamin D, calcium, and/or phosphate
Wearing braces to reduce or prevent bony deformities
Surgery to correct bony deformities (in severe cases)
Treating the Underlying Cause
Treatment of the underlying cause may include:
Adding the following to your child's diet:
Supplements of vitamin D, calcium, and other minerals
Vitamin D-fortified dairy products
Foods high in vitamin D, such as fatty fish, egg yolk, and green vegetables
Foods high in calcium
Adequate, but not excessive, exposure to sunlight
Avoiding medication that may be causing poor calcium, phosphorous, or vitamin D absorption
Treating underlying illnesses
To help reduce your child's chance of rickets:
Encourage your child to:
Drink vitamin D-fortified milk.
vitamin D, calcium, and other minerals. Children can be picky eaters. If you think your child needs more nutrients, talk to their doctor. They may recommend other sources of vitamins and minerals.
Allow some exposure to sunlight. Fifteen minutes a day is usually enough. Any longer than that requires sun protection. Excess exposure can lead to sunburns and increased risk for skin cancer.
Breastfed babies and bottle-fed babies who do not get enough vitamin-D fortified formula may need to be given a supplement starting within the first few days of life. Talk to the doctor to make sure your child is meeting the nutritional requirements for vitamin D.
Children with dark skin are at increased risk for rickets. They may need more sun exposure and dietary supplements with vitamin D.
Some babies (breastfed or bottle fed) may need a supplement starting within the first few days of life. Talk to the doctor to make sure your child is meeting nutrition needs.
Vitamin D deficiency in children (infancy through adolescence). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 3, 2015. Accessed May 13, 2016.
Rickets. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/rickets.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed May 13, 2016.
Balk SJ, Council on Environmental Health; Section on Dermatology. Ultraviolet radiation: a hazard to children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2011;127(3):e791-e817.
Grant WB, Boucher BJ. Requirements for Vitamin D across the life span. Biol Res Nurs. 2011;13(2):120-133.
Wagner CL, Greer FR, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2008;122(5):1142-1152.
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