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Vitamin D is a vitamin that helps the body absorb and use calcium. Calcium and vitamin D help the bones grow and keep them strong. Most children get vitamin D from 3 potential sources:
Vitamin D is needed by children of all ages, from newborn babies to adolescents. The current recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics is for all children to get 400 IU/d of vitamin D each day.
Both exclusively and partially breastfed babies should receive vitamin D supplements beginning in the first few days after birth. Ask your doctor for a prescription of vitamin D drops.
Children should be encouraged to run and play outside a few times each week. In addition to a healthy diet, a vitamin D supplement or children's vitamin can help make sure your child gets the recommended amount of vitamin D each day. Formula-fed infants and all older kids should take a vitamin D supplement if they get less than 0.95 L (1 qt) of vitamin D fortified formula or milk daily (four 224-g [8-oz] bottles or cups).
Moreno MA, Furtner F, Rivara FP. Vitamin D and Bone Health. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(7):684. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.1066
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