Posts Tagged ‘ kid’s health ’

New Study: Only 10 Percent of Kids at Risk for Low Vitamin D Levels

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

A new Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study reveals that the estimated number of children who are thought to have low levels of vitamin D is significantly fewer than what previous studies indicated. New Institute of Medicine guidelines state that people get enough vitamin D if their blood levels are at or above 20 nanograms per milliliter, whereas previously it was thought to be 30 nanograms per milliliter. With these new guidelines, Loyola researchers found the percentage of kids at risk for vitamin D deficiencies to be 10 percent. More from LoyolaMedicine.org:

Loyola researchers studied vitamin D data from a nationally representative sample of 2,877 U.S. children and adolescents ages 6 to 18 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The study found that under the Institute of Medicine guidelines, 10.3 percent of children ages 6 to 18 are at risk of inadequate or deficient vitamin D levels. (This translates to an estimated 5.5 million children.)

By comparison, a 2009 study in the journal Pediatrics, which defined sufficient vitamin D levels as greater than 30 ng/mL, found that an estimated 70 percent of people ages 1 to 21 had deficient or insufficient vitamin D levels.

Under previous guidelines, millions of children who had vitamin D levels between 20 and 30 ng/mL would have needed supplementation. Under the Institute of Medicine guidelines, children in this range no longer need to take vitamin D supplements.

The Institute of Medicine’s new vitamin D guidelines are based on nearly 1,000 published studies and testimony from scientists and other experts. The IOM found that vitamin D is essential to avoid poor bone health, such as rickets. But there have been conflicting and mixed results in studies on whether vitamin D can also protect against cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and diabetes. Moreover, excessive vitamin D can damage the kidneys and heart, the IOM found.

Stay on top of your child’s health with this vaccine schedule

How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids
How to Eat Healthy: Raising Nutrition-Smart Kids

Image via Shutterstock

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Study: Vision Problems Don’t Cause Headaches in Children

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Contrary to popular belief, children’s headaches are rarely triggered by vision problems, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the opthalmology clinic of Albany Medical Center in New York.

Of the children studied, 75% had the same vision test results both before and after they complained of headaches. The study determined that there is no significant link between headaches and a need for glasses, even if the headaches occur while doing homework or other visual tasks. Researchers found that frequent headaches typically resolved over a period of time, regardless of whether or not the child got a corrective prescription.

Dr. Zachary Roth, who lead the research team, said, “We hope our study will help reassure parents that in most cases their children’s headaches are not related to vision or eye problems, and that most headaches will clear up in time.”

Vision screenings should be a part of a pediatric wellness visit and should be done every year or two, recommends Dr. Daniel Neely, the chairman of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus’ (AAPOS) vision screening committee. AAPOS recommends children have a documented vision measurement by age 5: “The reason that there’s a time factor on these screenings is because of a condition called amblyopia,” explains Neely, which is the leading cause of vision loss. The condition, commonly referred to as lazy eye, occurs when the eye sends blurry images to the brain and can result in the brain learning to ignore images from the weaker eye. Children are less likely to respond to corrective treatment as they age, “So the younger you identify them, the more easily you can treat them. [...] By the time the kid gets to school that window of opportunity is closing,” remarks Neely.

Image: Girl with headache via Shutterstock

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