June 7, 2011

117 Child Abuse or Rickets? [6 June 2011]

Families are being torn apart because of misdiagnosed infantile rickets. Dr John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council documents several cases where infants with broken bones that the parents cannot explain result in the children being taken from their parents and charges being laid.

Often the infant is asymptomatic (has no evidence of external injury like bruises or swelling) but the fractures must be explained somehow and the parents are the most likely suspects. Social workers have not always been trained to consider the possibility of vitamin D deficiency rickets. Even if the infants are tested for vitamin D and calcium levels, the tests may be normal or even high because by this time they are healing from damage done before birth due to the vitamin D deficiency of their mothers. Vitamin D is necessary for the development of strong healthy bones during gestation as well as throughout life after birth.

The pain suffered by the babies with broken bones is bad enough, but the emotional trauma to the parents and the infant from the forced separation and false allegations may be worse. The stories related on the Vitamin D Council’s website are heart-wrenching. Fortunately more cases are arriving at the truth, and hopefully social services in the northern latitudes where D deficiencies are more common are learning about this phenomenon. Even more importantly, physicians are encouraging mothers to supplement with vitamin D during pregnancy so these situations are prevented from ever occurring.

For more information on this topic see www.vitaminDcouncil.org and search for rickets.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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