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Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants and Teens

Posted Sep 13 2008 4:42am

I found an interesting article in yesterday's ( 8/26/08) New York Times by Roni Caryn Rabin about vitamin D deficiency. It was hard for me to believe that family doctors and pediatricians are not prescribing multi-vitamin drops for babies who are breast-fed. Bottle-fed babies will get vitamins in their formulas. The article noted that "fewer than half routinely recommend them and one in six never recommend them. " Because of this a few cases of rickets, caused by vitamin D deficiency are being noted. Probably more cases will be seen if this trend is not reversed.

Teenagers, too, are being seen with evidence of vitamin D deficiency. In these cases, the bones show osteopenia or osteoporosis. Both of these can be symptons of Vitamin D deficiency and the result is weakness of the bones.

Any mother who entirely breast-feeds a baby should insist on pedatric multi-vitamin drops for her baby. It is sad that mothers have to keep on top of so much when they are feeding an infant. In the past that was our job, as pediatricians. Times have certainly changed!

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