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Part 4: Keeping Your Child Healthy  >  The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses  >  Rickets

RICKETS

This is a disease of the bones that can affect children who do not get any exposure to sunlight. Our skin has a pro-Vitamin D that is converted into Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. Vitamin D protects the child from getting rickets. However, rickets can also occur due to calcium deficiency with normal Vitamin D levels in the body.

SYMPTOMS: In a typical case, an older infant or a toddler is brought to the doctor with bowing of the legs. The doctor finds widening of the ends of his long bones, near the wrists or ankles. The eruption of teeth is delayed. The forehead appears rather prominent. The anterior fontanelle (the soft spot on the head) is widely open. The child seems to be prone to frequent infections. Some children get tetany (fits due to calcium deficiency). An X-ray of the wrist shows classical evidence of rickets.

While being aware of the above findings, you must remember that all these features can be seen normally in individual children. Thus, bowing of the legs in the absence of the other features of rickets in an infant is normal. The legs may straighten on their own without any treatment. Teeth may erupt later in some children, who are otherwise normal. The anterior fontanelle may sometimes normally close  towards the end of the second year. The headmay look big because of the bigger size of the parents’ heads. So let your doctor decide whether the child has rickets or not.

TREATMENT: Your doctor will prescribe Vitamin D. In most cases, the improvement is rapid and the X-rays return to normal. Do not give your child more Vitamin D than prescribed by your doctor; he could get Vitamin D poisoning. You must make sure that the child’s skin is exposed to morning sunlight for 10 minutes everyday, but make sure that the child does not get sunburn due to prolonged exposure to the sun.

Rickets is extremely rare in breastfed children. In my 30 plus years of practice, I have seen it only in 4 breastfed cases. In 3 cases, the child, even though advised, was not exposed to sunlight for fear of his getting a dark skin. All improved with Vitamin D and exposure to sun.




7 March, 2016

 
Part 4
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses

Abdominal Pain
Abrasions or Scratches
Acute Glomerulonephritis
Acute Nephritis
Acute Watery Diarrhoea
Addictions
Adenoids
AIDS
Allergies
Anaemia
Anorexia (Poor Appetite)
Asthma
ADHD
Autism
Backache
Bed-Wetting (Enuresis)
Birth Deformities
Bites and Stings
Bleeding
Bone, Joint and Muscle Injuries
Bowlegs and Knock-Knees
Breathlessness
Bronchiolitis
Burns
Calcium Deficiency
Cancer
Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Chickenpox
Choking
Circumcision
Cleft Lip and Palate
Common Cold
Congenital Heart Disease
Constipation
Convulsions or Fits or Seizures
Cough
Croup
Crying
Cuts
Dengue Fever
Diabetes Mellitus
Diarrhoea, Dysentery ...
Diphtheria
Down's Syndrome
Earache, Ear Infections ...
Electric Shock
Encephalitis
Eye Problems
Fears
Foot Problems
German Measles (Rubella)
Glands in the Neck ...
Headache
Head Injury
Hepatitis
Hydrocephalus
Hypertension
Hypospadias
Influenza (Flu)
Jaundice
Joint Disorders
Kala-Azar
Leptospirosis
Limp and Pain in the Legs
Malaria
Malnutrition (Undernutrition)
Measles
Meningitis
Meningomyelocele
Menstrual Problems
Mental Retardation (MR)
Mouth To Mouth Breathing
Mumps
Nephrotic Syndrome
Nose-Related Problems
Obesity
Pneumonia
Poisoning
Poliomyelitis
Premature Baby
Prolapse of the Rectum
Rabies
Rheumatic Fever
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rickets
Short Child
Skin Conditions
Sleep and Sleep Problems
Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
Splinters
Stammering
Stridor (Noisy Breathing)
Teething and Care of Teeth
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
Thrush
Thumb-Sucking
Tics
Torticollis
Tracheoesophageal Fistula
Tropical Eosinophilia
Tuberculosis (TB)
Typhoid
Umbilical Problems
Undescended Testis
Urinary Infection
Vaginal Discharge
Vomiting
Wheezing
Whooping Cough (Pertusis)



Part 4
Keeping Your Child Healthy
Choosing A Paediatrician
Proper Use of Medicines
Home Remedies
A First Aid Kit
The A-Z of Childhood Illnesses
Psychological Concerns
Managing A Hospital Stay
Emergencies
Prayer And Your Child's Health
The Role of Nature Cure
Homoeopathy
Ayurveda and Child Care
Congenital Heart Disease FAQ
 
Guide to Child Care
Home
Introduction
1 Pregnancy, Childbirth ...
2 The Growing Years
3 Feeding Infants, ...
4 Keeping Your Child Healthy
5 Keeping Your Child Happy
About Dr. R. K. Anand
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