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The mother transfers most of the vitamins to the child in the fetus. Vitamin B and C are transferred to the fetus through the placenta throughout the pregnancy and Vitamin A, D and E are transported to the fetus towards the end of the pregnancy. However, the vitamin K transfer is not done during the pregnancy as the mother’s breast milk contains a lot of vitamin K and D and the child acquire Vitamin K from the mother’s milk.
Different vitamin deficiencies can occur in children and they are as follows:
Vitamin B deficiency
Vitamin B plays significant functions such as maintains the lining of the mucous membranes in the digestive system, necessary for a healthy liver, required for the conversion of tryptophan into niacin, maintains the health of skin, eyes, nerves, and muscles, stimulates and helps in the absorption of vitamins such as B1, B3 and B6 and iron and folic acid regulates hormone levels produced by the adrenal glands
The signs that come with vitamin B deficiency include canker sores or ulcers inside the mouth.
- Vitamin B7 deficiency in children causes the hairs and nails to be brittle.
- Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B7 deficiency cause excessive hair loss in children.
Vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C has shown impressive health benefits such as reduces free radicals formation, protects against heart disease, better iron absorption and boosts immune response Scurvy is the condition that is caused due to vitamin C deficiency. The signs of deficiency that are visible in children include bleeding gums. The child experiences weakening of muscles and the immune system.
Vitamin A deficiency
It plays a structural role in building immunity and in the overall development and growth of the human body. Vitamin A deficiency causes vision issues in low light, dry eyes, dry skin and frequent illness.
Vitamin D deficiency
It maintains bone metabolism, improves immunity and provides protection against cardiovascular, nervous and pregnancy-associated problem. The synthesis of a sufficient amount of Vitamin D depends on sun exposure, therefore its level should be maintained by supplements to meet its demand. Its deficiency leads to rickets. The child suffers from bone diseases, liver diseases, and inflammatory bowel conditions. The child can fracture their bones very frequently and can have muscle cramps.
Vitamin E deficiency
Vitamin E is an essential vitamin necessary for promoting health and disease prevention. It has several key functions that boost immunity and develop overall strength. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and platelet aggregation inhibitory properties that make it one of the best immune enhancer.
Vitamin E deficiency occurs in malnourished children and results in weak muscles, problems with vision, and shaking.
Recommended Vitamin Allowance for Children
There are few vitamins that are very imperative for children and their dietary intake is as follows:
The most important B vitamin for children is vitamin B12 and its recommended dietary allowance for children is as follows:
- Babies: about 0.5 micrograms daily.
- Toddlers: 0.9 micrograms daily.
- Ages 4-8: 1.2 micrograms daily.
- Ages 9-13: 1.8 micrograms daily.
- Teens: 2.4 micrograms daily
Babies and children are recommended to take at least 400 IU of Vitamin D daily.
It helps in strengthening the immune system of the body and its recommended dietary allowance for children is as follows:
- Ages 1-3 years need 9 IU of vitamin E daily.
- Ages 4-8 years need 10.4 IU daily.
- Ages 9-13 years need 16.4 IU daily.
- Teens require 22 IU daily.
There are different societies and social groups that have recommended vitamin intake and they are as follows:
A multivitamin intake is recommended to all children beginning at the age of one year. It recommended vitamin A and D supplementation to Breast‐fed infants, formula‐fed infants on <500 ml/day and all children from the age of 6 months and should be taken till 5 years of age.