In childhood, the child will develop strong and healthy bones. However, some children actually experience problems with their bone development. Where the bones do not develop strongly and the texture is soft. This condition is a sign of rickets. Rickets has become a global concern in recent years. Now, to find out more about what rickets is, the symptoms and prevention methods you can see below.
What is rickets?
Rickets is a disorder that results in softening and weakening of the bones. Because of this deformity the bone shape will change or even cause stunted growth in children.
Rickets occurs because the body is deficient in vitamin D, phosphate and calcium. These three nutrients are very important for bone growth to stay healthy and strong when the child is growing and developing.
Rickets generally most often affects children and often affects children aged 6 to 36 months. However, even so that doesn’t mean adults can’t experience it. In adults, rickets is called osteomalacia.
In developed countries this disease is rare. This disease is still found in many developing countries.
Causes of Rickets
Generally rickets in children is caused by a lack of vitamin D and calcium. This substance is important for children so that bone growth can take place properly and healthily. Some of the sources of vitamin D include:
- Food. Foods that contain vitamin D are eggs, fish oil, and cereals that contain vitamin D.
- Sunlight. With the help of sunlight, vitamin D in the skin will be produced. The vitamin D produced by the body is mostly obtained from this process.
Vitamin D deficiency can also be caused by problems with the absorption of vitamin D in the intestines. Conditions like this can be caused by:
- Experiencing inflammatory disease in digestive tract
- Celiac disease
- There is interference with the kidneys which will interfere with the absorption of urine and calcium
- Cystic fibrosis
Symptoms of Rickets
- Feeling pain in the bones of the legs, arms, spine or pelvis.
- Compared to children his age, the child’s body is short. This is due to not experiencing growth and development properly.
- Frequent twitching, muscle cramps and tingling in the hands and feet. This situation can usually get worse. This is due to low levels of calcium in the blood.
- Easy to fracture.
- There are abnormalities in the shape of the teeth such as easy cavities, small teeth and deformed tooth structure.
- Having abnormalities in the shape of the bones, such as a curved collarbone, a strange skull shape, a lump in the ribs, a prominent breastbone, a pelvic deformity, a thickening of the ankle
- The leg or kneecap becomes bent.
- Soft skull.
- The ability to walk in children becomes obstructed.
Rickets will cause stunted bone growth so that this condition will lead to bone deformities, especially in children. Symptoms of rickets in children that generally occur are as follows:
Risk Factors for Rickets in Children
There are several factors that can increase the risk of rickets in children, such as the following:
Born prematurely or preterm birth will increase the risk of rickets in children. Baby those born prematurely have a greater risk of developing rickets. The reason is, while in the womb your little one does not receive enough calcium intake.
Pregnant Women Have Vitamin D Deficiency
During pregnancy, it is important for mothers to always meet the nutritional intake needed for a healthy pregnancy. However, there are some pregnant women who have vitamin D deficiency. Well, babies born to mothers who have severe vitamin D deficiency may be born with symptoms of rickets or the symptoms will develop after a few months of birth.
Medicines, such as anti-seizure drugs and antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV disease are known to interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin D.
Rickets is more common in areas with severe hunger and drought.
Geographical location can also increase the risk of rickets in children. Where children who live in locations with less sunlight will have a higher risk of developing rickets.
Lack of fat intake in the body will increase a person’s risk of developing rickets. Because there is no solvent, vitamin D will not work optimally. Where the solvent is fat.
Dark skin will cause less sunlight to be absorbed to form vitamin D in the skin.
Complications of Rickets
If rickets is not treated properly, this disease will cause several complications, including:
- Experiencing a growth delay
- Bone abnormalities
- Abnormal curvature of the spine
- Tooth abnormalities
Prevention of Rickets in Children
The best way that can be done to prevent rickets is to eat foods that contain balanced nutrients such as phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D. You can find vitamin D from foods such as fish oil, fish and egg yolks. Other foods that are fortified with vitamin D include cereals, orange juice, milk and formula. It is important for you to know, breast milk (ASI) contains a small amount of vitamin D. Therefore, babies who are breastfed are advised to receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day. To find out more information, you can consult a doctor.
Apart from eating the right foods, you have to make sure that your child gets enough sun exposure. Simply expose your face and hands at least a few times a week. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun as it will cause skin damage. If your child is doing activities in the sun for a long time, don’t forget to use sunscreen to avoid the negative effects of sunlight.
Based on research, you can prevent children from rickets before the child is born. This can be done by paying attention to adequate intake of vitamin D during pregnancy.
Apart from making bones strong, vitamin D has other benefits. Vitamin D is beneficial for the development of the bones of the baby in your womb. If your skin is darker or you only get a little sun exposure, you can consult a doctor to find additional
supplements for pregnant women.
As a parent you must pay attention to the development and growth of children properly. Provide a balanced nutritional intake so that children avoid various health problems. Well, if the child shows some symptoms of rickets as described above, don’t wait long, you should immediately take the child to the doctor for further examination.
This article is reviewed by Midwife Pevi Revina sTR. Keb