Baby Health

Why Your Baby Needs Vitamin D Supplement

Breast milk contains practically all the nutrients a baby needs for the first six months of life.

It is the best meal any baby would love to have, little wonder they find it difficult to be weaned off the breast.

However do you know that breast milk lacks sufficient vitamin D that a baby needs to grow?

Vitamin D is an important vitamin that is necessary for an infant’s health and proper development. It is popularly known as ‘the wonder vitamin’ because of its numerous benefits. Vitamin D helps maintain the insulin level, calcium and potassium levels required to build strong teeth and bones. It helps the heart and nervous system.

The presence of this vitamin is essential in the first year of a child’s life. At this stage, children grow rapidly and experience the tremendous bone development of their entire body system. Many babies lack vitamin D as breast milk does not contain sufficient amount, they have little or no exposure to sunlight that is a major supplier and they cannot eat a variety of meals that have it naturally.

A child that is deficient in vitamin D would have rickets, which presents as soft bones in children. Rickets is commonly found in children between 6 and 36 months old. Children are at the highest risk of rickets because they are still growing. Also, Africans tend to be more affected because of the dark skin that does not react to sunlight as the lighter skin would produce less of vitamin D.

Such a child would have stunted growth, bowed legs, bone pains, large forehead, and trouble sleeping. Some of the complications that may arise include muscle spasms, bone fractures, an abnormally curved spine, scoliosis, and intellectual disability.

It is recommended that exclusively breastfed and formula fed babies within the first six months of life get vitamin D nutritional supplement.

Then after the first six months when the child begins to take complementary foods, vegetables, fatty fish, dairy and egg yolks are incorporated into her daily meals. In addition exposure to sunlight in a controlled way for a brief period would help to combat vitamin D deficiency.

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5 Tips That Could Save Your Baby’s Life

As a parent, keeping your baby or child safe should be your number 1 priority.

Knowing what to do to help prevent accidents from happening and how to react should it become a reality should be of upmost importance for parents.

Here are 5 tips that could save your baby’s life.

1. Take notice of suffocation hazards in the home

A baby can suffocate if something covers his or her mouth and nose, thus preventing breathing. Plastic/nylon bags is a main culprit.They may seem flimsy, but a nylon bag can easily suffocate a young baby or toddler. A thin film of plastic can kill a child by suffocating him/her.

Teach older children never to put them over their heads and do not allow little children to play with them.  Even very young babies can grab it and put it over their head, as they are so light.

2. Never leave your child alone in the bath or bathtub

Babies and young children should never be left alone in the bath, not even for a minute.  Also using a bath seat or support is no replacement for parental supervision. Even if a baby is secured in a bath seat, do not leave them even for a second as it could still fall over.

A child can drown in a matter of minutes and it happens quickly and silently. A baby can slip under the water without crying or screaming or splashing around.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the age of 4 before children are allowed to bathe alone.

3. Keep your baby alone from small objects to prevent choking

It’s a scary thing to see a choking child and it usually, happens when a baby or young child tries to swallow a piece of food or small object. Choking most frequently happens to babies between the ages of five and eighteen months.

Ensure that you keep all small objects out of reach of the baby who is at the hand-to-mouth stage of development. Safety pins should always be out of your baby’s reach and keep small toys or toys with small parts away from babies until they are old enough to handle them.  Parts broken off toys and games should be thrown away or be repaired. Also rid of small pieces of crayon.

Be alert for small objects that can cause choking, such as coins, buttons, beads, bits of torn plastic, seeds or broken balloons.  Make a habit or picking up these small items if they are lying around. Also note that toys are designed to be used by children within a certain age range.

4. Keep your baby away from electrical outlets

Electrical outlets can kill your child. There is something about an electrical outlet that attracts young children and this make electrical outlets extremely dangerous. If a child sticks wet fingers into an outlet, or even worse if a child sticks a piece of metal into an outlet, electrocution is a definite possibility. Electrocution frequently results in death and children die every year by electrocution.

5. Keep your child away from buckets

Do you know that buckets can kill small children? Children love water. When a child sees a bucket of water, it is an instant attraction. Unfortunately, toddlers are top heavy. If a toddler reaches into a bucket to touch the water, it is very easy for the child to fall right in headfirst and the child will never get back out.

Buckets are frequently used in Nigeria for bathing, fetching water, washing clothes and for household chores and pose a serious threat to babies and toddlers. Never leave a bucket of water in your house where small children can reach it. Even something as simple as answering the door or using the restroom can leave a window of time long enough to drown a child.

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