Prevention and treatment of infant and childhood vitamin D deficiency in Australia and New Zealand: a consensus statement

C. Munns, M.R. Zacharin, C.P. Rodda, J.A. Batch, R. Morley, N.E. Cranswick, M.E. Craig, W.S. Cutfield, P.L. Hofman, B.J. Taylor, S.R. Grover, J.A. Pasco, David Burgner, C.T. Cowell

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    Abstract

    Vitamin D deficiency has re-emerged as a significant paediatric health issue, with complications including hypocalcaemic seizures, rickets, limb pain and fracture.A major risk factor for infants is maternal vitamin D deficiency. For older infants and children, risk factors include dark skin colour, cultural practices, prolonged breastfeeding, restricted sun exposure and certain medical conditions.To prevent vitamin D deficiency in infants, pregnant women, especially those who are dark-skinned or veiled, should be screened and treated for vitamin D deficiency, and breastfed infants of dark-skinned or veiled women should be supplemented with vitamin D for the first 12 months of life.Regular sunlight exposure can prevent vitamin D deficiency, but the safe exposure time for children is unknown.To prevent vitamin D deficiency, at-risk children should receive 400 lU vitamin D daily; if compliance is poor, an annual dose of 150 000 lU may be considered.Treatment of vitamin D deficiency involves giving ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol for 3 months (1000 IU/day if 12 months of age).High-dose bolus therapy (300 000-500 000 IU) should be considered for children over 12 months of age if compliance or absorption issues are suspected.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)268-272
    JournalMedical Journal of Australia
    Volume185
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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    Munns, C., Zacharin, M. R., Rodda, C. P., Batch, J. A., Morley, R., Cranswick, N. E., ... Cowell, C. T. (2006). Prevention and treatment of infant and childhood vitamin D deficiency in Australia and New Zealand: a consensus statement. Medical Journal of Australia, 185(5), 268-272.