Doctors have a new prescription for kids: double the vitamin D. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants, children, and adolescents take twice the daily dose, or 400 IU, of the vitamin previously suggested, the Boston Globe reports. More prevalent than many parents realize, vitamin D deficiency (common in breast milk) can lead to bone softening, cancer, autoimmune diseases and diabetes.
Kids used to get vitamin D from the sun, synthesized in the skin, but now they’re either indoors too much or slathered in sunscreen. Dietary sources of vitamin D are mostly limited to infant formula, oily fish, cod-liver oil, fortified milk, breakfast cereals, and orange juice. Doctors recommend supplements in liquid or tablet form, starting a few days after birth.