In today's current environment of social distancing, and with the closure of many activities, including playgrounds and outdoor parks, our kids are surely missing the sunshine period. However, that lack of sunshine contributes to lowered amounts of essential vitamin D, which is responsible for bone health, focus, and can even result in mood changes and depression.
We'll explain here the importance of vitamin D for children, how much they need, potential risks of not getting enough, and offer solutions for parents aiming to ensure they get enough daily while quarantined at home.
Consequences of Kids Not Getting Enough Vitamin D
For starters, moms-to-be need adequate vitamin D during pregnancy to reduce the risks of developing conditions such as pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor and cardiovascular conditions. After baby comes, as they grow up, getting ample vitamin D is vital to the child's health in a number of ways.
Bone Building: Vitamin D helps the body retain and absorb phosphorus and calcium that's essential for proper bone building.
Rickets Prevention: Rickets is a bone softening condition that affects children within the first two years of life that can result in bowed legs or short stature.
Preventing Depression and Mood Disorders: It's widely accepted scientifically that the lack of sunlight can affect people, and a condition associated with this is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Children, too, are negatively impacted when kept pent up indoors both physically and emotionally. Much of this is due to a shortage of vitamin D in the body, which can easily source depression and mood swings.
How Much Vitamin D Kids Need and Why They Aren't Getting Enough
Across the nation, pediatricians are reporting seeing vitamin D deficiencies in children. But why? Sunlight and outdoor activities are likely the key to resolving the issue as a whole. This is because according to various studies 90% of vitamin D comes from direct exposure to sunlight, while only 10% hails from foods like fortified milk, oily fish and egg yolks.
So, how much sunlight exposure ensures that our youngsters get ample Vitamin D? According to an American Association of Pediatrics clinical report, adolescents need at least 600 international units (IU) daily and infants need about 400 IU per day for optimal Vitamin D consumption.
In a study conducted by Norwegian scientists and researchers, about a half hour of sun exposure is equal to getting anywhere between 10,000 and 20,000 IU of Vitamin D. Hence, our youth need only about 15 minutes of sunlight to get ample Vitamin D. With that in mind, it is advised to wait this long before applying sunscreen to children so they can absorb the right amount of this nutrient.
Looking for Year Round Solutions to Get Kids Outdoors and Moving?
Here at Recreation Pro USA, we understand that getting out and about in these times isn't as easy as it once was. The good news is that our innovative in-ground trampoline systems offer a way to ensure motion and sunshine go hand in hand just about anytime.
As a family-owned business based in Texas, we are family oriented and have designed our in-ground trampolines to be of the highest quality and meet the highest safety standards. Contact Recreation Pros USA online or at 833-222-2754 today to learn more about our products and installation services.