Bones and muscles form the basic fundamental structure of our body. The bone grows faster in children than in adults. The growth of bone is an important aspect of the growing child. Any bone injury or disorder in childhood can get worse with increasing age if left without treatment.
World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day
World Pediatric Bone and Joint Day is observed worldwide on October 19th with the aim to spread awareness about the impact of musculoskeletal conditions among children. The day also aims to facilitate healthy living and optimum growth of children. Bone and joint disorders are generally termed musculoskeletal disorders. Musculoskeletal disorder is commonly caused due to infection, or injury or it can even be inherited, and it could subsequently develop as the child grows.
Parents should check their child for any signs of musculoskeletal disorders as early diagnosis and timely treatment could help prevent lifelong problems and aid in a better quality of life.
Signs of musculoskeletal disorder
Redness near the injured area
Pain and swelling
Irritable and lethargic behaviour
Loss of appetite
Causes of musculoskeletal injuries
- Injuries and accidents
- Poor posture
- Vitamin D deficiency
Pediatric musculoskeletal injuries can give rise to long-term disability if not diagnosed and managed with treatment. These things can be avoided if parents are vigilant about their child’s health and well-being.
Tips to build strong bones in kids
Adding bones strengthening foods to your kid’s meal plan helps to build strong bones. Some bone-strengthening foods are
Calcium – Calcium is a superfood to strengthen your kid’s bones. Calcium is responsible for building and maintaining the mass of the bones. The intake of calcium is directly proportional to the strength of bones. Your body needs calcium as per your age and weight. A child between the age group 4-8 years needs nearly 1000 mg of calcium per day. While a child of 9-18 years old requires 1300 mg of calcium each day.
Source - Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Green leafy vegetables, soya drinks, bread, beans, lentils, almonds, and fish are also rich in calcium.
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is required to absorb the calcium content in the body. Deficiency of this can result in musculoskeletal problems like rickets. The approximate unit of Vitamin D required by a kid and teenager is 600 IU per day.
Source – Sunlight, cereal, oat milk, egg yolk, mushrooms, milk.
Magnesium – It is required to make the bones dense. High-density bones help to reduce the chances of bone fractures. This also regulates the levels of calcium and vitamin D. Young kids of 4-8 years require 130 mg of magnesium per day while children older than this need 240 mg.
Source – Almonds, potatoes, banana, spinach, cereals, soy milk, peanut butter.
Vitamin K – Regular intake of this mineral can increase bone density. This mineral is significant for regulating metabolism in the bone by activating proteins. 55 mg of vitamin K is sufficient for children ranging from 4-8 years while 60 mg is enough for older children of 9-18 years.
Source – Green leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, broccoli, kiwi, green peas, and cheese.
Lifestyle for strong bones
- Exercising more frequently
- Avoiding carbonated drinks
- Avoiding smoking, drinking, and a sedentary lifestyle