Rickets usuallyoccurs because of a lack of vitamin D or calcium, although it can also be caused by a genetic defector another health condition.
The most common cause ofrickets is a lack ofvitamin D orcalcium ina child's diet. Both are essential for children todevelop strong and healthy bones.
Sources of vitamin D are:
Calcium is commonly found indairy products, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, and green vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage.
Over time,a vitamin Dor calcium deficiency will cause rickets in children and soft bones(osteomalacia) in adults.
Seepreventing rickets for more information and advice about ensuring your child gets enough vitamin D and calcium.
Any childwho doesn't get enough vitamin D or calcium can develop rickets, but there are certain groups ofchildren who are more at risk.
For example, rickets is more common in children of Asian, African-Caribbean and Middle Eastern origin because their skin is darker and needs more sunlight to get enough vitamin D.
Babies born prematurely are also at risk of developing rickets because they build up stores of vitamin D while they're in the womb. Babies who are exclusively breastfed, especially for longer than six months, may also be at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
This is why theDepartment of Health recommends that:
For more information, readwho should take vitamin D supplements.
Rare forms of rickets can also occur in some inherited (genetic) disorders.For example, hypophosphatemic rickets isa genetic disorder where the kidneys and bones deal abnormally with phosphate.
Phosphatebinds to calcium and is what makes bones and teeth hard. This leaves too little phosphate in the blood and bones, leading to weak and soft bones.
Other types of genetic rickets affect certain proteins in the body that are used by vitamin D.
Occasionally,ricketsdevelops in children with rare forms of kidney, liver and intestinal conditions.These can affect the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Rickets is a condition that affects bone development in children. It causes the bones to become soft and weak, which can lead to bone deformities.
Signs and symptoms of rickets can include painful bones, skeletal deformities, dental problems, poor growth and development, and fragile bones.
Rickets usually occurs because of a lack of vitamin D or calcium, although it can also be caused by a genetic defect or another health condition.
As most cases of rickets are caused by a vitamin D and calcium deficiency, it's usually treated by increasing a child's intake of vitamin D and calcium.
There are several steps you can take to help prevent rickets. These include ensuring your child has a healthy, balanced diet and spends some time outside in the sun.