At the end of the last century, rickets was the most common disease in children under 2 years of age, especially those babies who were bottle-fed. Often children suffered from rickets in northern countries where there is little sun.
Now the situation has improved.
Usually this disease occurs in 2-3 months. Therefore, for prophylaxis, the pediatrician recommends the mother to give the baby vitamin D in the appropriate age dosage. When the child has the first signs of rickets, treatment is necessarily prescribed:
- increases the dosage of vitamin D,
- if the baby is breastfed, then foods rich in calcium are included in mom’s diet (this element helps to absorb vitamin D),
- bottle-fed babies are recommended mixtures enriched with calcium and vitamin D,
- physiotherapeutic procedures are prescribed.
If time does not pay attention to the signs of rickets, then after a year this disease will cause deformities of the lower extremities. They can be O-shaped or X-shaped.
In principle, X-shaped legs, when the knees are turned towards each other, can be observed in a child under 4 years of age. To notice the deviation, you just need to carefully look at the child in front.
If you find that his knees are looking in different directions, do not worry: this deficiency occurs in children quite often.
It is known that the child can finally adapt to life in a vertical state only by adolescence, which means that everything that happens to the baby’s knees up to this point fits into the concept of the norm.
But since X-shaped and O-shaped leg curvatures may be associated with rickets, it is best to consult a doctor. Moreover, this should be done if there are thickening of the wrist joints and phalanges of the fingers, the child has a flattened (frog) stomach, the baby is prone to anemia, he has shortness of breath, and his appetite is reduced.
If it really is rachitis, the pediatrician will prescribe vitamin D3 to the child. Children of the first 2 years are entitled to 500 IU, that is, 1 drop of the drug per day (IU is an international unit of 0.025 mg).
However, if from the age of 2 the problems with the legs will worsen, and you begin to notice a clear asymmetry, then every six months you will have to show the baby to the orthopedic doctor. If necessary, the doctor will send the child on an x-ray.
After a year, problems with the legs may also arise because the child prefers the W-shaped pose: when the butt is located between the legs and the heels are apart, while the legs are turned slightly outwards. If you look at the child directly from above, his legs seem to form the English letter W. In this position, the muscles of the hips and calves do not develop, and orthopedists suspect that later this may lead to the development of bilateral flatfoot.
Rickets will further aggravate the situation.
In children older than 4 years, late rickets may develop. This is due to impaired phosphorus-calcium metabolism in a period of rapid growth.
The reasons for such violations are lack of sleep, a diet that does not correspond to the age (an acute shortage of products containing calcium and vitamin D – cottage cheese, eggs, milk, dairy products). In this case, the child often sweats, gets tired quickly, is irritable, does not sleep well, eats poorly, is absent-minded and irritable, complains of pain in the legs.
In addition, his posture is disturbed and flatfoot develops.
The treatment consists of taking vitamin D in an age-appropriate dosage, adjusting the diet, the doctor may also refer to physiotherapy.