Vitamin D Overdose Risk for Babies: Medical Companies Fail Again?

Michele Zipp
5

baby in sunshineThe FDA just issued a warning about the dangers of babies overdosing on vitamin D because some of the droppers used to administer the liquid form of the vitamin aren't clearly marked.

Another case of carelessness? Perhaps. But not just on the medical companies. Parents need to be careful to follow exact directions even if the dropper can hold more than what is recommended. We can't always pass the buck. But still, companies should be more careful.

Too much vitamin D is harmful and can cause "nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, muscle and joint aches, confusion, and fatigue, as well as more serious consequences like kidney damage."

I went to Anatoly Belilovsky, MD, the medical director at Belilovsky Pediatrics -- and named one of America's Top Pediatricians -- to get his thoughts on this along with more information.

How much vitamin D should a baby get and how often?

Dr.
Belilovsky: As a supplement in addition to breast milk, parents should give their babies precisely 400 IU of vitamin D per day. However, vitamin D is already included in many formulas, so parents should take note of their formula's ingredients. Standard formulas already contain about 400 units in 24 oz, so if your baby eats at least that much in a 24-hour period, then she does not need to be supplemented.

Is vitamin D even necessary? If so, what age should babies start?

Yes, vitamin D is necessary. It should be started within a few days after birth. Breastfed infants need it pretty much indefinitely unless they have a lot of sun exposure on bare skin or eat a lot of high-D foods. Since most formulas have 400 units of vitamin D per 24 oz, formula-fed infants should stop supplements when they are up to eating 24 oz per day.

I take prenatals still and my babies nurse. Plus, they do get some sunshine almost daily. So I believe I my twins are covered.

Do you give your baby vitamin D?

 

Image via AshBayGrammy/CafeMom

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