We all remember the feeling: the last bell rings, establishing the start of summer vacation. A whole summer ahead of you to do whatever you’d like, with no homework to worry about. But for parents and children alike, the last thing that comes to mind in summer is vitamin D supplementation. Children can get plenty from their diet and the sun, right? Not necessarily…
Recent studies have shown:
- 30-80% of urban toddlers are low in vitamin D. (6)
- 70% of children and adolescents are not getting enough vitamin D. (7)
- More than one third of children taking a vitamin supplement still did not receive enough vitamin D and calcium. (8)
So why are children coming up short?
What about sunlight?
- Vitamin D can be made in skin when exposed to direct sunlight exposure
- The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) does not recommend getting vitamin D from unprotected sun exposure due to risks associated with ultraviolet (UV) radiation and the development of skin cancer. (2)
- The ability for children to make vitamin D from sunlight depends on the following:
- Sunscreen use: Children and particularly babies, and those with fair skin are advised to avoid direct sun exposure because of the risk of skin cancer. Using sunscreen blocks skin from producing vitamin D.
- Time of day: UVB or short-wave ultraviolet rays are for vitamin D production in the skin. These rays are strongest in the midday sun. (3)
- Time of year: The sun’s radiation is strongest in the summer, declines in the fall and is lowest in the winter. For some children in fall and winter, no vitamin D can be made or more time needs to be spent in the sun to produce vitamin D. (3)
- Geography: For children who live farther from the equator in northern United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Northern Europe, the sun’s rays may not be strong enough to allow vitamin D to be made.
- Weather: Children who live in regions prone to cloudy, rainy, cold weather may have inconsistent sun exposure.
- Lifestyle: Children may spend more time indoors, even during summer vacation. A recent UK study found on average, children were playing outside for just over four hours a week (4)
- Skin color: Children with lighter skin need to spend less time in the sun to absorb the same amount of vitamin D as those with darker skin (5)
What about diet?
To get 600 IU of vitamin D a day through diet alone, you would need to consume: (1)
- 6 glasses of milk
- 4 cans of tuna
- 1 medium sized fish
- 20 eggs
Vitamin D is found in very few foods, mainly fish, fortified milk products with trace amounts in some cereals and eggs (1). Children would probably need to consume unrealistic portions in order to meet their vitamin D needs.
Why do children need vitamin D anyways?
- The need for vitamin D doesn’t stop after infancy!
- Average for school-aged children 6 to 12 years old will (9):
- Grow 2.5 inches per year
- Gain 5-7 pounds per year
- Vitamin D supports normal bone and teeth development, and muscle strength (10)
- Vitamin D helps the body use calcium and phosphorus to build and maintain strong bones and teeth in children.
- Health authorities consider vitamin D as a factor in the maintenance of good health (11) (12)
How much vitamin D is recommended?
Health authorities Vitamin D recommendations for children (11), (13), (14)
- Multivitamins often contain small amounts of vitamin D, so always read the labels carefully
- Check with your practitioner about specific needs around vitamin D supplementation.
Why choose Ddrops Booster?
- Easy: Just one tasteless drop makes Ddrops products easy to take. Ddrops can be dropped onto a clean surface such as a spoon or added to food or drink.
- Safe administration: Ddrops Booster is administered as a controlled drop and is easy for children to swallow. Gummies and chewable products are not recommended in children under the age of 4 (15)
- Pure: Each drop of Ddrops contains only two ingredients: pure vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and fractionated coconut oil. Ddrops products contain no artificial flavors, preservatives or colors, and are free from most common allergens
- Options: Flexible dosing options with Ddrops include:
- Baby Ddrops 400 IU
- Kids Ddrops 400 IU
- Ddrops Booster 600 IU
- Tested: Ddrops products were developed through extensive research, rigorous safety tests and have been used in clinical trials in children (16)
- Trusted: Ddrops products have received awards, recognitions and certifications worldwide. Ddrops are recommended by many healthcare practitioners across North America
Don’t forget vitamin D this summer! It’s always a good idea, no matter what time of year, to talk to your healthcare practitioner about vitamin D supplementation for your children.
- Dietitians of Canada. Food Sources of Vitamin D. November 23, 2016.
- American Academy of Dermatology. American Academy of Dermatology Statement on sun exposure, vitamin D levels and mortality. July 2014 https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/american-academy-of-dermatology-statement-on-sun-exposure-vitamin-d-levels-and-mortality
- A Guide to the UV Index. United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2004. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/uviguide.pdf
- Moss, S. Natural Childhood. National Trust 2012. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/documents/read-our-natural-childhood-report.pdf
- Nair, R., Maseehm A. (2012). Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin. Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics. Apr-Jun; 3(2): 118-126. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/
- Maguire J.L., et al. Prevalence and predictors of low vitamin D concentrations in urban Canadian toddlers. Paediatr Child Health Vol 16 No 2 February 2011
- Kumar J, et. al. Prevalence and associations of 25- hydroxyvitamin D deficiency in US children: NHANES 2001-2004. Pediatrics. 2009 Sep: 124(3):e362-70 doi:10.1542/peds.2009-0051.Epub 2009 Aug 3.
8. Bailey, R. et. al. Do Dietary supplements improve micronutrient sufficiency in children and adolescents? J Pediatr 2012:161:837-42
- John Hopkins Medicine Health Library. The Growing Child: 3-Year-Olds http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/the_growing_child_3-year-olds_90,P02296/
- Bordelon, P., et. al. Recognition and Management of Vitamin D Deficiency. American Family Physician Oct 15 2009. Vol 80 no. 8.
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (US). Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 2010.*
- Health Canada vitamin D monograph http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=183
- Vitamin D and Calcium: Updated Dietary Reference Intakes. Health Canada https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-calcium-updated-dietary-reference-intakes-nutrition.html#a4
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Fact sheet for health professionals. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/. Updated February 11, 2016. Accessed April 19, 2017.**
- Preventing choking in toddlers and preschoolers. About Kids Health. Sick Kids Hospital
- Maguire J.L., et al. DO IT Trial: vitamin D Outcomes and Interventions in Toddlers – a TARGet Kids! randomized controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics 2014, 14:37