Oh that annoying “drop” that a number of us forget to give our babies. I am totally guilty of this. Little did I know, not administering this “drop” can lead to vitamin D deficiency. This deficiency can cause Rickets.
Rickets is a condition where the bones become soft and weak. It was first noted as a public health problem during the Industrial Revolution in Britain, where many people lived in cities where the skies were permanently darkened with smog. The sun is the number one source of vitamin D. Nowadays, the fear of sun exposure and sunscreen is suppressing our intake of vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important for growth and development in infants. It also helps them build strong healthy bones and teeth and can also assist in preventing certain illnesses in childhood or later in life. Infants are most susceptible to getting Rickets. It can affect any infant before the age of one who is exclusively breast-fed, has darker skin and who lives in a more northern climate where sun exposure is limited.
There are a number of ways to ingest vitamin D such as diet, supplements, and sun exposure. There are some foods that are fortified with Vitamin D such as cow’s milk and margarine. Formula fed babies are at a lower risk as the vitamin is already added to the formula. There are also the foods that naturally contain it. Canned salmon and tuna, liver, kidney and more northern traditional foods like fatty fish and aquatic mammals such as seals and polar bears have a higher content of vitamin D. Really though, where would we even buy these foods? D drops it is! Vitamin D drops is a liquid form of the vitamin, given orally. You would add the solution to either your baby’s bottle, on a pacifier or directly on your nipple. It is colourless and odorless and you can find it at your local pharmacy.
So tie a string on your finger, set the alarm on your phone or write it in on your calendar. Which ever way works for you, make sure your baby is getting the vitamin D that they need. I’m going to go do it now!