by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Rickets is a rare bone disease. It causes bones to soften and weaken.
Rickets is caused by a lack of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate in the body. This may happen due to:
Rickets is more common in children who:
Other things that may raise the risk are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your child's symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. This may be enough to suspect rickets.
The diagnosis may be confirmed with:
The underlying cause will need to be treated. The goals of treatment are to relieve or reverse symptoms.
Vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate supplements will be given. Children with severe symptoms may need surgery to correct bony deformities.
To lower the risk of rickets:
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
The Hospital for Sick Children—About Kids Health
Mughal MZ. Rickets. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2011 Dec;9(4):291-299.
Rickets. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/rickets. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Rickets. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed December 1, 2020.
Vitamin D deficiency in children (infancy through adolescence). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/vitamin-d-deficiency-in-children-infancy-through-adolescence. Accessed December 1, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 4/23/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.