Docs Find Little Kids Low on Vitamin D
Deficiency leads to reduced bone density in infants, toddlers
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 6:15 PM CDT
Scores of children are not receiving enough vitamin D, say experts.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Many young children are not receiving enough vitamin D, putting them at risk of bone problems and immune-system trouble, ABC News reports. In a group of 380 kids ages 2 and younger, 12% were deficient in vitamin D and 40% had below-optimal levels. A third of those deficient showed changes in bone density of the wrist and knee, and a few even had rickets.

The deficiency rate is "higher than expected in a country that has vitamin-D-fortified milk," the lead researcher tells Reuters. The best natural source of vitamin D is the sun, and parents who constantly cover their kids with sunblock and blankets may raise the risk of underexposure. Another source is fortified foods, especially milk products, bread, and cereals.