Risk factors, complications of rickets (part 3)

Published : 01 Aug 2022 08:23 PM

Factors that can increase a child's risk of rickets include:

• Dark skin. Dark skin has more of the pigment melanin, which lowers the skin's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight.

• Mother's vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy: A baby born to a mother with severe vitamin D deficiency can be born with signs of rickets or develop them within a few months after birth.

• Northern latitudes: Children who live in geographical locations where there is less sunshine are at higher risk of rickets.

• Premature birth: Babies born before their due dates tend have lower levels of vitamin D because they had less time to receive the vitamin from their mothers in the womb.

• Medications: Certain types of anti-seizure medications and antiretroviral medications, used to treat HIV infections, appear to interfere with the body's ability to use vitamin D.

• Exclusive breast-feeding: Breast milk doesn't contain enough vitamin D to prevent rickets. Babies who are exclusively breast-fed should receive vitamin D drops.


Left untreated, rickets can lead to:

• Failure to grow

• An abnormally curved spine

• Bone deformities

• Dental defects

• Seizures    

    Courtesy: Mayo Clinic