The Effects Of Vitamin D And Its Effects On Children

2309 Words10 Pages
traviolet (UV) rays from sunlight to activate it. Breastmilk contains a small amount of vitamin D but that is not adequate for proper infant development; therefore, exclusively breastfed infants should receive a supplement of vitamin D shortly after birth.17 The current American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations for vitamin D intake is 400 IU per day for all infants, children, and adolescents, beginning the first few days after birth.18 Deficiency of vitamin D is known as rickets and can have severe and lasting effects on children as they grow. Inadequate intake of vitamin D also decreases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, causing improper mineralization of bones and teeth and resulting in swelled joints, bowed legs, and poor growth during childhood. (See Figure 6.9.) Iron A full-term infant is born with iron stores that reflect the mother’s iron levels. If the mother consumes an iron-rich diet during pregnancy, the fetus builds iron stores to last the first 4–6 months of life. By 6 months, a breastfed infant needs an additional iron source, at which time, iron-fortified infant cereals can meet this need. The AAP recommends iron-fortified formula for all formula-fed babies. Preterm infants have lower iron stores at birth that are depleted around 2–3 months of age.19 Human milk is a source of iron, and compared with infant formula, a higher percentage of the iron in breastmilk is absorbed: 50% of the iron in breastmilk is absorbed, whereas only
Open Document