Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor or a pediatrician. Depending on the cause of your child's symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist.
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list that answers the following questions:
- What symptoms have you noticed and when did they start?
- What types of food and drink does your child usually consume?
- How often does your child play outdoors?
- Does your child always wear sunscreen?
- What medications and supplements does your child take?
What to expect from your doctor
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 may experience 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 may 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.
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- Rickets: What it is and how it's treated. American Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/children/parents/special/bone/902.html. Accessed Aug. 13, 2010.
- Rauch F. Etiology and treatment of hypocalcemic rickets in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 13, 2010.
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- Drezner MK. Osteomalacia and rickets. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/214808326-3/0/1492/956.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2805-5..50270-6--cesec7_12061. Accessed Aug. 16, 2010.
- Dietary supplement fact sheet: Vitamin D. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp. Accessed Aug. 16, 2010.
- Prevention of rickets and vitamin D deficiency in infants, children and adolescents. Rockville, Md.: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=13540&search=vitamin+d. Accessed Aug. 17, 2010.
- Taylor JA, et al. Use of supplemental vitamin D among infants breastfed for prolonged periods. Pediatrics. 2010;125:105.
- Sunburn: Treatment and prevention. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/pages/Sunburn-Treatment-And-Prevention.aspx. Accessed Aug. 17, 2010.