Vitamin D: opt for medicines to avoid overdosing infants
Three new cases of vitamin D overdose have recently been reported in infants as a result of taking food supplements. Too much vitamin D can have serious, life-threatening consequences for the health of young children. To limit risks, we are reiterating our recommendations on the vitamin D supplementation of infants.
Vitamin D is essential for bone growth in children. To ensure this growth, vitamin D is prescribed in France from the first few days of a baby’s life to prevent rickets, which is a disease affecting growth and bone formation.
However, giving your child too much vitamin D can be just as harmful as not giving enough. The Agency registered three new reports of severe hypercalcaemia (excessive calcium in the blood) in infants in 2022. These cases resulted from the misuse of food supplements containing vitamin D.
Reiterating our alert issued in early 2021 following the detection of three similar cases, we are again stressing to parents the importance of:
- opting for medicines rather than food supplements. Medicines provide clear information on doses, precautions for use, risk of adverse effects and overdose;
- carefully controlling the doses given to your child, and avoiding combining different products containing vitamin D, in order to prevent overdoses that could impair kidney function.
This intake should in any case always be prescribed by a healthcare professional.
This alert follows on from the reports received through our nutrivigilance scheme. You too can report any adverse effects suspected of being related to the use of a food supplement. In doing so, you will help improve consumer safety.