5 Signs of Vitamin Deficiency in Children

Is your child getting enough vitamin C?Is your child getting enough vitamin C?Vitamins are more than just little pills to pop; they are the building blocks and support system of our bodies. Well-rounded, healthy diets can provide all a growing body needs, but the reality of our busy lifestyles and sometimes finicky eating patterns can lead to vitamin deficiency. Knowing what to look for is part of the battle. The following signs of vitamin deficiency in children are by no means complete, but it will give you a good idea of potential problems.

Signs your child lacks Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency in children is a common problem. My niece was recently diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency after exhibiting some puzzling symptoms. Signs that your child is not producing enough include late teething, irritability, poor growth, and muscle cramps. Seizures and breathing difficulties could also be traced back to insufficient vitamin D.

Combat vitamin D deficiency with exposure to sunlight, milk, cheese, yogurt, and egg yolks.

Signs your child lacks Vitamin A
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to serious vision problems. In children a vitamin A deficiency can start to show up as tiredness, hair loss, weakness, and weight loss. Other symptoms include dry eyes, scaling of the skin, and respiratory infections.

Combat vitamin A deficiency by ensuring children eat plenty of yellow-orange vegetables such as carrots, yams, and squash, as well as eggs and cheese.

Signs your child lacks vitamin B 12
Deficiencies in vitamin B 12 in children shows itself in a wide variety of ways. Specifically, vitamin B 12 greatly influences the nervous system and affects the functions of the brain and heart. Signs your child lacks the proper amount of vitamin B 12 include abdominal pain, edema, weakness, insomnia, and they may begin to lose their voice.

Signs your child lacks vitamin B 6
Manifestations of a vitamin B 6 deficiency in children include diarrhea, anemia, weakness, irritability, and seizures. Researchers have also pointed to a lack of vitamin B 6 as the culprit behind inattention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, temper tantrums, and other inappropriate behaviors.

Combat vitamin B deficiencies by offering a wide variety of meat, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese, beans. Vegans and Vegetarians should look into supplementation in order to maintain a healthy amount of vitamin B.

Signs your child lacks vitamin C
Easy bruising is one sign that your child is not getting enough vitamin C. Additionally they may experience joint pain, have dry skin, and poor appetite. Frequent nose bleeds, infections, and illness can also be traced back to a vitamin C deficiency.

Combat vitamin C deficiency by providing plenty of opportunities to eat a wide variety of citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, and green vegetables like broccoli.

While the problems caused by vitamin deficiencies are shocking, it is important to note that excessive amounts of vitamins taken in supplement form can be toxic to the body. If you suspect any of these signs point to a deficiency, check with your physician before administering extra vitamins to your child to avoid an overdose.


Resources:
Compact Medical Guides -Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants and Children by Steven Rothrock, MD, FACEP, FAAP on September 23, 2011
Medscape Reference -Vitamin A Deficiency by George Ansstas, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD
Pediatrician OnCall - Nutrition in Children

Content by Sylvie Branch.
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