Rickets in children is due to a deficiency of vitamin D. This vitamin is not produced in the body, and it can only be obtained from the outside. It is formed in the skin under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, and also found in some products. Most often, rickets occur in the first three years of life.
Even at the end of the last century, rickets was the most common disease in children under 2 years, especially those children who were on artificial feeding. Children often suffered from rickets in northern countries, where there is little sun. Now the situation has improved.
Usually this disease manifests itself in 2-3 months. Therefore, for prevention, the pediatrician recommends that the mother give the baby vitamin D at the appropriate age-appropriate dosage. When a child has the first signs of rickets, treatment is mandatory:
- increases the dosage of vitamin D,
- if the baby is breastfed, then the foods that are rich in calcium are included in the diet of the mom (this element helps absorb vitamin D),
- a baby on artificial feeding is recommended mixtures, enriched with calcium and vitamin D,
- physiotherapeutic procedures are prescribed.
If you do not pay attention to signs of rickets in time, after a year this disease will cause deformities of the lower extremities. They can be O-shaped or X-shaped.
In principle, the X-shaped legs, when the knees are deployed to each other, can be observed in a child under 4 years old. To notice the deviation, you just need to look carefully at the child in front. If you find that his knees are looking in different directions, do not worry: this deficiency occurs in children quite often.Experts believe that most of what seems to be a deformation, in fact it is not.
It is known that the child can finally adjust to life in a vertical state only to adolescence, which means that everything that happens with the baby's knees up to this point fits into the concept of norm.
But since the X-shaped and O-shaped curvatures of the legs can be associated with rickets, it is better to see a doctor. Especially this should be done if the wrist joints and phalanges of the fingers are thickened, the child has a flattened ("froggy") abdomen, the baby is prone to anemia, he has shortness of breath, appetite is reduced.Treatment of rickets after a year
If it really is about rickets, the pediatrician will prescribe the baby vitamin D3. Children of the first 2 years are entitled 500 IU, i.e. 1 drop of drug per day (IU is an international unit, equal to 0.025 mg).
However, if from the age of 2 the problems with the legs become worse and you begin to notice the obvious asymmetry, then every six months the baby will have to be shown to the orthopedic doctor. If necessary, the doctor will send the child to X-ray.
Problems with the legs after a year may also arise because the child prefers a W-shaped posture: when the priest is located between the legs and the heels are apart, while the shins are turned slightly outward. If you look directly at the child from the top, his legs seem to form the English letter W. With this attitude, the muscles of the hips and calves do not develop, and orthopedists suspect that later this can lead to the development of bilateral flat feet. Rickets will further exacerbate the situation.Late rickets
Children older than 4 years may develop late rickets. This is due to violations of phosphorus-calcium metabolism during the period of rapid growth. The causes of such disorders are a lack of sleep, an inappropriate diet (an acute shortage of products containing calcium and vitamin D - cottage cheese, eggs, milk, fermented milk products). At the same time the child often sweats, quickly tires, is irritable, does not sleep well, eats poorly, is scattered and irritable, complains of pains in the legs. In addition, his posture is disrupted and flat feet develop.
The treatment is to take vitamin D at the age appropriate dosage, adjust the diet, the doctor can also send to physiotherapy procedures.Flat-footedness in children: how to avoid it? Slender legs, straight back ... Feed and reassure: food for an overactive child