Starting January 2012, you may have noticed that vitamin D has been added to your child’s annual lab screen. Vitamin D is an important vitamin with many health benefits! Vitamin D, along with calcium, helps to build strong bones and teeth and may help children with diabetes use insulin better.
Skin can make vitamin D when your child is in the sun. But, as the cooler months of fall and winter approach us, children get less exposure to the sun, which may affect their vitamin D level. Children may also not get enough sunlight if they spend most of their time indoors or if they do not eat foods rich in vitamin D. Did you know that your child needs to drink six glasses of milk (8 ounces each) every day to get enough vitamin D?
Vitamin D is found in foods such as milk and some yogurts, breakfast cereals and orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and some types of fish such as salmon and tuna. Vitamin D is also found in supplements if your child cannot get enough vitamin D from foods.
All children and adolescents need 600 IU (International Units) of vitamin D every day. If your child’s vitamin D level is low, he will need to take vitamin D supplements.
A normal vitamin D level is greater than 30 (ng/ml). Vitamin D is considered insuffiencient at less than 30 (ng/ml) and deficient at less than 20 (ng/ml).
If your child’s vitamin D level is abnormal, please speak with your healthcare provider or call the Diabetes Center at 215-590-3174 to speak with a dietitian.