During the exam, the doctor will gently press on your child's bones, checking for abnormalities. He or she will pay particular attention to your child's:
- Skull. Babies who have rickets often have softer skull bones and might have a delay in the closure of the soft spots (fontanels).
- Legs. While even healthy toddlers are a little bowlegged, an exaggerated bowing of the legs is common with rickets.
- Chest. Some children with rickets develop abnormalities in their rib cages, which can flatten and cause their breastbones to protrude.
- Wrists and ankles. Children who have rickets often have wrists and ankles that are larger or thicker than normal.
X-rays of the affected bones can reveal bone deformities. Blood and urine tests can confirm a diagnosis of rickets and also monitor the progress of treatment.
May 24, 2016
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- Carpenter T. Etiology and treatment of calcipenic rickets in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
- Elder CJ, et al. Rickets. The Lancet. 2014;383:1665.
- Misra M. Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency in children and adolescents. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 21, 2016.
- Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Vitamin D supplementation for infants. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/Vitamin-D-Supplementation-for-Infants.aspx. Accessed March 23, 2016.