[Recommendations for vitamin D supplementation in infants and young children].J Pharm Belg 2013; (3):12-21JP
Vitamin D deficiency occurs rather commonly among healthy pregnant women, newborns and young children, especially in certain risk groups. Since vitamin D plays a role in calcium and phosphor metabolism essential for bone health and in the physiopathology of some autoimmune diseases it seems important to provide recommendations for prevention of vitamin D deficiency. Risk factors include maternal vitamin D deficiency, low intake of fortified food, eg. breastfeeding, low compliance of supplementation, dark skin, inadequate sun exposure, premature birth, overweight, living at high latitude. The aim of this paper is to summarize available data of vitamin D sources, known situations in which deficiency is common and published guidelines on vitamin D supplementation, and translate this information in recommendations for prevention of vitamin D deficiency in healthy paediatric population in Flanders. Infants should receive an oral supplementation of 400 IU/day of vitamin D from birth and this should be continued till the age of 6 years. In cases of dark skin the dose should be 600 IU/day. An healthy life style with outdoor activities and associated sun exposure and intake of fortified nutrition should be advised. The implementation should be promoted by all healthcare professionals working with young children.