Vitamin D is critical for all of us, but especially children. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, as well as for the support and development of a healthy body. Children with severe vitamin D deficiencies may develop muscle weakness, delayed motor development, rickets, and fractures.
Unlike most vitamins, which we can often get through diet alone, vitamin D is acquired through time spent in the sun. You won’t find many foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Unfortunately, if you’re in a place that doesn’t get much sunlight then chances are good your child may not be getting enough vitamin D.
Children get about 80 percent of their vitamin D from sunlight. So if your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors (especially during the winter months) it’s a good idea to talk with your pediatrician about ways to ensure that your child is getting enough vitamin D.
Children with certain health problems such as cystic fibrosis or celiac disease, as well as children who’ve undergone bone surgeries may require more vitamin D. This is something you should discuss with your pediatrician. Children over 1-year-old need at least 600 IU of vitamin D (or more) a day. Ideally, children should get around 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
We also know that too much time in the sun can also pose risks for children, especially their skin. During the summer months, children only need a few minutes a day in the sun to get enough vitamin D. During the winter months, kids should get about 2-3 hours per week. Children under 6 months old should never be placed in direct sunlight.
Children with darker skin will also need to spend more time in the sun to produce the same levels of vitamin D as kids with lighter skin. Just sitting inside near windows won’t be enough for your child’s body to produce vitamin D.
Any temperature over 90F poses a serious health risk, especially to kids. When temperatures are at or above 90F here’s what you can do to keep your little ones safe:
Find an air-conditioned environment: If you don’t have AC in your home, it’s important to find a space that does. Make an action plan for where you can go if the temperatures become so high that you cannot safely stay in your home. You may need to stay with someone who does have AC or find free spaces such as a public library, which should also have AC.
Drink (lots of) water: You and your children must be also drinking enough water, especially on those super-hot days. While kids should normally get eight 8-oz glasses of water if a child is particularly active or it’s hot out, they must be drinking even more water to replenish what’s being lost.
Wear the appropriate clothes: Just as you need a coat and gloves to protect your skin during the cold winter months, you also need to wear the appropriate clothes for those brutally hot days. Make sure your child is wearing light-colored clothes made from lightweight, absorbent materials that will wick away sweat. Since kids are less likely to sweat than adults, it’s important to keep them in the coolest and lightest clothes possible.
Stay cool: Whether jumping through the sprinkler system or simply hopping in a cold shower, there are easy steps you can take to help your child cool down when they complain of being too hot! If there is a swimming pool nearby, this is also a great and fun way to keep cool.
Whether you have questions about keeping your child safe during the summer months or you simply need to schedule their next well-child visit, a pediatrician is going to be the first doctor you turn to for your child’s health and wellbeing. Keeping your child safe this summer doesn’t have to be difficult, but if you have questions or concerns don’t hesitate to call.
Accidents happen, but if bedwetting or daytime enuresis is becoming quite frequent in older children then it’s worth seeing your pediatrician for a closer evaluation. Girls happen to gain bladder control a little faster than boys. Girls are often diagnosed with enuresis if they continue to have bladder control issues past the age of 5, while it’s often diagnosed in boys after age 6.
There are many reasons why your child might be dealing with enuresis, which is another reason to see a pediatrician for answers. Whether your child is dealing with nighttime or daytime enuresis, or both, gives us some idea of what the cause might be. Common causes of nighttime or daytime enuresis include:
- Overactive bladder
- Small bladder
- Intense deep sleep
- Urinary tract infection
- Sleep disorders (often obstructive sleep apnea)
- Structural issues within the urinary tract
Sometimes enuresis goes away on its own without treatment, while other causes may require treatment. For example, a urinary tract infection will require medication to treat the infection and alleviate the enuresis. Underlying health problems such as diabetes will also require proper treatment and long-term maintenance and care.
The CDC is your go-to for all accurate and updated information regarding childhood vaccines. They offer a variety of charts for kids 18 years old and younger that can easily help you determine what vaccines your child needs to get and at what age. Of course, your pediatrician also knows exactly what vaccines your kids need when they visit the office, so these charts are just for you to stay in the know. Of course, if you have any questions about upcoming vaccines for your child, don’t hesitate to talk with their pediatrician.
- Hepatitis A & B
- DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough)
- Hib (meningitis, epiglottitis, and pneumonia)
- Meningococcal (for bacterial meningitis)
- MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella)
- Pneumococcal (pneumonia, ear infections, and meningitis)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
We understand that some parents may be on the fence about vaccines. In fact, this is a common concern that pediatricians hear, and it’s best to talk with your child’s doctor who is well-informed about childhood immunizations. There is a lot of misinformation out there and it can lead parents to avoid certain vaccines that could put their child at risk for more serious health problems. While some immunizations can cause minor side effects these are so minor compared to the repercussions of not having your child vaccinated.
As your child grows up, it’s important to do everything you can to keep them healthy and strong. Immunizations are a large part of helping your child stay healthy and can help save on healthcare costs in the long run. Dr. Alexandra Kostur and Dr. Roman Criollo at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL, can help explain why immunizations are important for the wellbeing of your child and which vaccines your child needs.
How Immunizations Can Keep Your Child Healthy
Immunizations are an important way to keep your child healthy and protect them against diseases that may cause long-term issues in your child’s life. Immunizations are administered by your pediatrician in Jacksonville, FL, are one of the safest ways to prevent disease.
When your child is born, they will receive their first dose of the vaccine that prevents Hepatitis B and after that, you should expect that you’ll be visiting your child’s doctor every few months until the age of 6. After age 6, the schedule will begin to slow down, and their doctor will be able to give you an exact timeline of when your child will need to come in for their next immunization. You should also encourage your child to receive a flu shot yearly, even after they turn 18, to help prevent the flu and help keep them healthy for years to come.
Common diseases that immunizations can help prevent are:
- Hepatitis B
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
- Hepatitis A
Contact Your Pediatrician Today!
Help protect your child from disease and keep them healthy for years by making sure to keep your child on schedule with their immunizations right from birth. Contact Dr. Alexandra Kostur and Dr. Roman Criollo at Jacksonville Kids Pediatrics in Jacksonville, FL, today at (904) 446-9991 to learn more about immunizations and why they’re important to keep your child healthy!
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