What is it?

Vitamin D deficiency is common. If your child has a vitamin D deficiency it means they do not have enough vitamin D in their body. Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium for healthy bone growth. In children, a vitamin D deficiency can cause soft and weak bones, muscle weakness and pain. It can also make them more likely to break a bone. It may also make it harder to learn how to use their arms, legs, hands and feet.

The body makes vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun. It can also get vitamin D through food. The amount of vitamin D the body can make might vary due to:

  • The time of the year
  • How often you are outside
  • Taking certain medications
  • Having certain medical conditions

People with darker skin or who live in colder climates find it harder to make vitamin D.

Some vitamin D is found in foods, such as fatty fish, liver, mushrooms and egg yolks. If your child has low vitamin D levels, treatment might include changes to diet, and safe sunlight exposure. Your GP might also suggest taking a vitamin D supplement.