Life Clinic

Children at risk of getting rickets

We are all aware of the dangers of too much sun, especially for children. But has the safe sun message inadvertently created vitamin D deficiencies, resulting in a resurgence in rickets?

Orthopaedic expert Dr Joe Reed - who is based at Southampton Hospital, says the Department of Health needs to do more to make parents and doctors more aware of the dangers of not enough sun.

“Alarmingly, our figures suggest that up to 40% of children presenting to the orthopaedic out-patient service in Southampton have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency” Dr Joesph M Reed

Rickets - childhood vitamin D deficiency resulting in skeletal pains or bony deformities - was, until recently, thought to be a thing of the past in our developed society and historically associated with poverty-stricken communities or fictional characters such as Tiny Tim from Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble compound essential for bone growth and mineralisation during childhood.

Life Clinic Says:

Unfortunately this does not come as a surprise to me, when in the clients I see around 80% of them are deficient in Vitamin D and we live in the sub-tropical zone of Hong Kong! Essentially all we need is 20-30 minutes of direct exposure between 12-2pm on around 80% of our exposed body.

Of course the darker skinned you are the more you need and the lighter skinned you are the less you need. Failing this, a good supplement of vitamin D in the form of Vitamin D3 would be appropriate ensuring adequate vitamin A is in balance with Vitamin D. Cod Liver Oils provide this ideal balance between the two vitamins.

It is important to evaluate your plasma levels of vitamin D3 to ensure the correct dosage level is determined.  Enjoy the sun! If you need further guidance on Vitamin D, A, or maintaining bone health contact Life Clinic.