Rickets: Why Are Newborns Dying From Vitamin D Deficiency? by Joy Stephenson-Laws JD
“I had not been informed of the need for infant vitamin D supplementation, or that we were at greater risk due to having dark skin, and I had no idea how catastrophic the effects of a vitamin deficiency can be.”
These are the words of Beverley Thahane, a 37-year-old mother in the U.K., who lost her 6-month-old baby, Noah, to a severe vitamin D deficiency. Due to his deficiency, baby Noah developed rickets and reportedly died of cardiac arrest. Thahane said Noah had been suffering from unexplained seizures.
“Rickets is a condition that causes children to have soft, weak bones. It usually occurs when children do not get enough vitamin D, which helps growing bones absorb important nutrients [like calcium and phosphorus],” according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
How common is rickets? This is actually not an easy question to answer, because rickets is not a reportable disease in the United States and national data are unavailable.
Baby Noah's death was completely preventable. It has been suggested that health-care professionals tell every pregnant woman to take vitamin D supplements.
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