Children can suffer from Rickets, a softening and weakening of their bones caused by a severe and prolonged lack of vitamin D. Rickets can also be caused by inherited problems.

Calcium and phosphorus are absorbed from food by your child’s body thanks to vitamin D. An inadequate amount of vitamin D can cause calcium and phosphorus levels in bones to fall, resulting in Rickets.


Rickets can cause the following signs and symptoms:

  • The growth that has been delayed
  • resulting in delayed motor skills
  • and back, pelvis, and leg pain
  • as well as muscle weakness

The softening of growth plates at the ends of the bones caused by Rickets can cause skeletal deformities such as:

  • knocked knees or bowed legs
  • Projection of the breastbone
  • A thickening of the wrists and ankles

What to do when you need to see a doctor

If you notice your child is suffering from bone pain, muscle weakness, or obvious skeletal deformities, consult your doctor.

Reasons for this

Your child’s body can only absorb calcium and phosphorus from food if they have vitamin D. Your child will experience health problems if they do not get enough vitamin D or if their body does not use vitamin D properly. It is possible to develop Rickets if you do not get enough calcium or if you are deficient in calcium and vitamin D.

Deficiency in vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency can occur if children aren’t getting enough of it from these two sources:

  • Vitamin D is produced in your child’s skin when exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, children in developed countries spend fewer hours outside. A more vibrant skin also has more vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s rays, which block the sun’s rays and prevent vitamin D production.
  • The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, mackerel, and fish oils contain vitamin D. Supplemental vitamin D is also found in dairy products, cereal, and fruit juices.

Problems associated with absorption

Some children can be born with or develop medical conditions that prevent their bodies from absorbing vitamin D. These conditions include:

  • Having celiac disease
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)
  • CF (Cystic fibrosis)
  • Problems with the kidneys

Factors of risk

Several factors, including: can cause Rickets.

  • The skin is of dark color. Essentially, the darker the skin, the less vitamin D it produces from sunlight because it contains more melanin.
  • During pregnancy, the mother was deficient in vitamin D. Babies born to mothers with severe vitamin D deficiency are likely to develop Rickets or show signs of it within a few months of their birth.
  • Latitudes in the north. There is a greater risk of Rickets in children who live in areas with less sunshine.
  • Birth before the due date. Because babies born before their due dates had less time to absorb vitamin D from their mothers, their vitamin D levels tend to be lower.
  • The body’s ability to use vitamin D appears to be impaired when it takes certain types of anti-seizure medication or antiretroviral medication to treat HIV infections.
  • They are breastfeeding only. The vitamin D in breast milk is not sufficient to prevent Rickets. Mothers should supplement their infants’ diet with vitamin D drops.


In the absence of treatment, Rickets can cause:

  • Deficiency in growth
  • A spine that has an abnormal curve
  • Deficiencies in the bones
  • Defective teeth
  • A seizure

Preventive measures

Expose yourself to sunlight for the best source of Vitamin D. During most seasons, the sun should be exposed for 10 to 15 minutes near midday. You might not be able to get enough vitamin D from sunlight if you have dark skin, if it’s winter or if you live in northern latitudes.

Additionally, infants and young children should avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen and protective clothing at all times to reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.

You can protect your child from Rickets by ensuring they consume foods containing vitamin D naturally, including those listed below, as well as foods fortified with vitamin D.

  • Formula for infants
  • Breakfast cereal
  • And bread
  • Milk, but not some yogurts and cheeses made from milk
  • and orange juice

Foods should be labeled to determine if they are fortified with vitamin D.

According to guidelines, infants should receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day. Infants exclusively breastfed need supplemental vitamin D because human milk contains only a minimal amount. Vitamin D supplements can also be necessary for some bottle-fed infants if they do not receive enough formula.