Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Factors that may increase a child's risk of rickets include:
- Age. Children 3 to 36 months old are most at risk of rickets because their skeletons are growing so rapidly.
- Dark skin. Dark skin doesn't react as strongly to sunshine as does lighter colored skin, so it produces less vitamin D.
- Northern latitudes. Children who live in geographical locations where there is less sunshine are at higher risk of rickets.
- Premature birth. Babies born before their due dates are more likely to develop rickets.
- Anti-seizure medications. Certain types of anti-seizure medications appear to interfere with the body's ability to use vitamin D.
- Exclusive breast-feeding. Breast milk doesn't contain enough vitamin D to prevent rickets. Babies who are exclusively breast-fed should receive vitamin D drops.
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