Tips to prevent your child from weak bone disease

The bone disease affects people of all ages, but it occurs often in children whose bones are still developing. Fixing this problem and preventing it from forming is important or else kids could break bones that never heal. Here are the most effective ways to prevent your child from developing weak bone disease.

Get Enough Calcium (Not Just Milk!) and Vitamin D

Calcium is an essential building block of bone. Without calcium, muscles would not contract, hearts would not beat and blood would not clot. Most of the body's calcium is found in the bones.

To prevent bone disease, get the daily recommended intake of calcium for children. Infants and toddlers need a minimum of 700 mg, and kids from ages 4 to 8 need 1,000 to 1,300 mg per day. For Vitamin D intake, the recommended levels are 400 IU/day for infants and 600-1,000 IU/day for older children.

Although milk is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D, it's not the only source. Other calcium-rich dietary sources include eggs, cheese, yogurt, fish, beans, vegetables, and whey protein. There are also calcium supplements available for people who can't meet the daily requirements in their diet.

Eat Well-Balanced Meals

Everyone has a different idea of what a balanced meal is. Some say it's mostly meat with smaller amounts of vegetables, fruit, and grains. Others say it's mostly vegetables with small amounts of meat and fruit and no grains. Most nutrition experts agree that well-balanced meals contain selections from every major food group: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, meat, oils, and fats. The smallest group consists of sugary, fatty and salty foods.

Ideally, the largest group should consist of fruits and vegetables. When your child eats foods from this group every day, he or she will obtain a healthy amount of calcium.

Promote Regular Exercise

Weight-bearing exercise helps to promote strong, healthy bones and muscles. Walking, running or weightlifting is effective at strengthening bones and preventing fractures that occur when playing sports or doing strenuous activities. Tennis, basketball, and yoga are also effective for this purpose. However, exercising only once or twice a week will not strengthen bones. It's necessary to exercise at least three times per week. Many people exercise by walking or jogging for at least one hour every day.

Get Annual Physical Checkups

Every child and adult needs an annual physical checkup to detect the early signs of illness. A doctor can catch the early signs of bone disease by taking X-rays and looking for abnormalities in the bones like holes or crackers. A doctor can check for common symptoms like bone pain, joint pain, back pain and a history of bone fractures. If enough problems are found, the primary physician can make a referral to an orthopedic doctor.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

Vitamin D deficiency is caused by a lack of sunlight and a low supply of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is needed to promote bone development, and a lack of it may cause rickets in children. There are different methods of screening for this deficiency besides going to see a primary physician.

Archeology technology has revealed that Vitamin D deficiency shows up in the teeth while they are forming. Taking your child to the dentist and getting dental X-rays may reveal the problem easily.

Throughout life, new bone develops to replace old, weakened bone. This bone remineralization is especially important in childhood when the skeletal system is first being developed. The process cannot be done on a poor diet with little to no exercise. Adults must work to prevent their children from getting bone disease before the symptoms appear.

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