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Kids: Play your way healthy?

By: Skylar Zwick
By: Skylar Zwick

On News 4 at 5 we told you about a “shocking” medical study citing that some 70% of kids have low Vitamin D. But, what does that really mean? How can you help combat it to keep your kids healthy?

On News 4 at 5 we told you about a “shocking” medical study citing that some 70% of kids have low Vitamin D. But, what does that really mean? How can you help combat it to keep your kids healthy?

 
In case you missed the report, here are the basic facts. A new study shows that “Seven out of 10 U.S. children have too-low vitamin D levels, putting them at risk of obesity, heart disease, rickets, and weak bones. Nearly one in 10 kids -- 7.6 million American children -- are actually deficient in vitamin D. Low vitamin D is risky, but vitamin D deficiency is a serious health threat in which the body begins to reabsorb calcium from the skeleton.” (The study was released by Juhi Kumas, MD, MPH, of Montefiore Medical Center, Michal Melamad, MD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine and colleagues).
One of the researchers even called the study “shocking.”
 
Personally, I think it could be linked to a lack of time playing outside. In my opinion, kids spend too much time playing video games, watching TV and being cooped up in the house – send them out to play in the yard after school or get them into regular sports or physical education classes at school and, I think, these numbers would start to come back in into line.
 
Here’s what Daniel DeNoon and Brunilda Nazario, MD, writers for WebMD had to say:
 
“People get vitamin D from foods like milk and fish, but it's hard to get enough from diet alone. The body makes its own vitamin D, but only when a person gets at least 10 minutes of direct sunshine a day, before putting on sunscreen.”
"It would be a good idea for parents to turn off the TV and send their kids outside," Kumas says in the news release. Just 15 to 20 minutes a day should be enough. And unless they burn easily, don't put sunscreen on them until they've been out in the sun for 10 minutes, so they get the good stuff but not the sun damage."
 
What do you think? Have you found any good ways to make sure that your kids stay healthier? Share your comments below.
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