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AAP Recommends Changes in Vitamin D Doses

by The Kid's Doctor Staff

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled the recommendation for the daily dose of vitamin D. The new guidelines now call for children to receive 400 units of vitamin D daily, starting with the first few days of life.

“We are doubling the recommended amount of vitamin D children need each day because evidence has shown this could have life-long health benefits,” said Dr. Frank Greer of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The move was made in the hopes of preventing rickets and reaping other health benefits. Rickets are not common in the U.S., but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were cases of rickets reported in breast-fed infants in 2000 and 2001.

According to pediatricians, sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, but there are concerns that too much sun exposure can raise skin cancer risks. Vitamin D fortified milk is also a common source, along with fortified cereals and oily fish like tuna, mackerel and sardines.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that non-breast-fed infants and older children who drink less than one quart of vitamin D-fortified formula or milk daily should receive a vitamin D supplement. “Supplementation is important because most children will not get enough vitamin D through diet alone,” said Dr. Greer.

More Information: The American Academy of Pediatrics

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