Stories about: Vitamin D deficiency

Health headlines: possible school ban on best friends, and 'hey, mother, can you spare a pint?'

Whooping cough cases approach epidemic levels in California. Health officials say five infants have died from whooping cough in California recently, which is at epidemic levels as the number of cases of the disease has quadrupled since last year.

Is your child getting enough vitamin D? If not it could make his asthma worse. New study shows kids with lower vitamin D levels in their blood are more likely to suffer severe asthma attacks.

Are schools really trying to ban best friends? Some schools are discouraging “cliques” and “exclusive friendships” over fear of bullying.

Milk banks for non-lactating moms are becoming popular as more studies point to the benefits of breast milk. But these are expensive and not available in all areas so some moms are forming and joining donor clubs, where breast milk is donated by lactating women with breast milk to spare moms. While this may be a nice gesture, some doctors are concerned about how trading unregulated breast milk could have negative effects on some kids.

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Vitamin D: A generation at risk

vit_dA study in the November Pediatrics adds to mounting evidence that the U.S. population is starved of an important nutrient—vitamin D. Based on the latest analysis of national data, roughly 20 percent of all children in this country fall below the blood level of vitamin D recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (50 nmol/L).

And far more—two thirds—fall below 75 nmol/L, the level many people now believe should be the standard. A shocking 80 percent of Hispanic children and 92 percent of Black children fall short.

If not corrected, this deficiency will put an entire generation of children at greater risk.

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