Does having rickets affect a child’s height?

Rickets is a common condition in children that causes concern for many parents. Specifically, parents are worried about whether rickets has a negative impact on their child’s height. The following article from will help answer this question.

What is rickets?

Rickets is a disorder that affects the development of bones, primarily in children. It is caused by a deficiency in essential nutrients such as vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate. These nutrients play a crucial role in bone growth and mineralization. When the body lacks an adequate supply of these nutrients, it can lead to weakened and soft bones, as well as impaired bone growth. Rickets can result in skeletal deformities, stunted growth, and other related complications.

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Causes of rickets in children:

Rickets in children is often caused by the following factors:
1. Vitamin D deficiency: Insufficient intake of foods rich in vitamin D or inadequate exposure to sunlight, which is essential for the body to synthesize enough vitamin D.
2. Imbalanced diet: Consuming excessive amounts of starch or protein can disrupt calcium metabolism and increase the excretion of calcium in urine.
3. Digestive disorders and infections: Children with digestive disorders, infections, premature birth, or fetal malnutrition are at higher risk of developing rickets compared to normal children.

How does rickets affect a child’s height?

Rickets can contribute to stunted growth in children. The underlying reason is the deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, or phosphate, which are crucial nutrients for bone development and density. Without an adequate supply of these essential components for bone formation, the bones cannot elongate properly, leading to slower growth in height.
Therefore, if left untreated, children with rickets are likely to have a shorter stature. It is important for parents to monitor their child’s growth, promptly detect rickets, and take appropriate measures to address it in order to help their child achieve optimal height in adulthood.


Signs indicating rickets in children include:

Nervous system manifestations:

  • Excessive sweating, even without physical activity.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent startled awakenings.
  • Hair loss at the back of the head.
  • Restlessness, crying, vomiting, or convulsions.
  • Delayed development of motor skills, such as rolling over, crawling, standing, or walking.

Bone manifestations:

  • Delayed closure of fontanelles (soft spots) on the skull, with a soft or bulging fontanelle.
  • Delayed or disordered eruption of teeth, along with tooth decay.
  • Bowlegs or knock knees.
  • Thickening of the wrists and ankles.
  • Prominent breastbone.

General symptoms include slow growth in height, a thin and weak body, pain in the spine, pelvis, and legs, muscle weakness, and overall frailty.

How to treat rickets in children at home

When rickets is detected in a child, to avoid health complications, parents should consider treating the disease at home using the following methods:

Supplementing nutrients through diet: It is recommended to increase the intake of foods rich in vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus in the child’s daily diet to provide these nutrients to the body, improve bone density, and enhance bone health.

Direct vitamin D supplementation: There are various types of vitamin D supplements available on the market. Parents can research and provide their child with a suitable product to directly supplement vitamin D, typically around 400 IU/day, until the symptoms subside.

Regular sunlight exposure for the child: When the skin is exposed to sunlight, it can naturally synthesize vitamin D. Parents should encourage their child to spend time in the sun for about 10-15 minutes once a day, preferably in the morning before 8 am or in the afternoon after 4 pm, to supplement vitamin D in the body


Dietary regime to effectively increase height in children with rickets

To promote health and treat rickets, parents should prioritize incorporating the following foods into their child’s daily diet:


A single egg contains approximately 41 IU of vitamin D, which helps boost vitamin D levels in the child’s body. Additionally, eggs are rich in protein, calcium, and other beneficial vitamins. Parents should include 3-4 eggs per week in their child’s diet to treat rickets and promote overall health.

Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are high in vitamin D, which contributes to strong bones and improved nervous system function. Parents can supplement their child’s diet with 3-4 servings of fish per week to provide sufficient vitamin D, promoting healthy bones and addressing rickets in children.

Natural mushrooms

Mushrooms contain relatively high levels of vitamin D, along with various minerals and antioxidants that support overall body functions. For individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet, mushrooms are an important source of vitamin D. Additionally, regular consumption of mushrooms can be beneficial for individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or during pregnancy.

Cereals and oatmeal

Cereals and oatmeal contain approximately 50-130 IU of vitamin D per serving. Therefore, consuming cereals or oatmeal for breakfast is an effective way to supplement vitamin D and treat rickets.

Fresh milk

A glass of fresh cow’s milk contains about 115-130 IU of vitamin D, which is highly beneficial for children with rickets. Additionally, milk is rich in protein and provides an effective source of calcium for the body. Children with rickets should be supplemented with 2-3 glasses of fresh milk per day to enhance beneficial nutrition, address rickets, and promote effective height growth.

Orange juice

A glass of orange juice contains approximately 100 IU of vitamin D. Along with ample amounts of vitamin C, it helps strengthen the immune system, promotes collagen synthesis in bones, and supports healthy bone development. Each morning, after a meal, don’t forget to provide your child with a glass of delicious orange juice for quick treatment of rickets.

Red meat

Red meats such as beef, pork, and goat meat also contain a considerable amount of vitamin D, beneficial for the bones of children with rickets. However, red meat also contains relatively high levels of cholesterol and saturated fat, which can hinder the digestion process. Therefore, parents should control the amount of red meat in their child’s diet to ensure good bone health while maintaining overall well-being.

Sports activities help effectively improve height for underdeveloped children.

To improve height for underdeveloped children, parents should encourage their children to participate in the following sports:


Basketball is a widely popular sport today. When playing basketball, children have to constantly move, jump to shoot and grab the ball. At this time, the growth plate receives more stimulation and blood flow to this area, aiding in rapid bone growth and good height development.


When swimming, the entire body needs to be in motion, especially the arms and legs. If the arms reach forward, the legs kick forcefully backward to move through the water. This stimulates bone development and promotes good height growth. Additionally, swimming is an important survival skill for children, ensuring their safety when learning and playing in water environments.

Football (Soccer)

While playing football, the legs are constantly active for dribbling, passing, shooting, and jumping to head the ball, which is beneficial for the process of mineralization in the bones, increasing bone density, and height development. Parents should create opportunities for children to play football regularly to improve their health and enhance their stature.


When cycling, the lower body experiences the most impact, with the thighs and calf muscles constantly in motion. Cycling also stimulates the back muscles and spine, promoting rapid bone elongation. To achieve good height growth with cycling, parents should adjust the child’s bike saddle to be higher than the length of their legs, allowing them to stretch more when pedaling, thus promoting rapid bone elongation.


Yoga is also a good choice for underdeveloped children to enhance height development. Yoga poses help stretch and expand the body, effectively stimulating the skeletal system and promoting better height growth. Parents can have their children practice height-enhancing yoga poses such as the cobra pose, mountain pose, and child’s pose.


Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a game that many children love. The movements involved in jumping rope improve the flexibility of the Achilles tendon and the nerve fibers starting from the soles of the feet, stimulating the release of growth hormones and promoting better height development. Children should jump rope 50-100 times every day to treat underdevelopment and improve height.


Badminton is a sport that many children enjoy and is also suitable for those who are underdeveloped and have slow height growth. When playing badminton, the shoulder muscles, back muscles, and spine receive significant stimulation, helping them develop better and positively influencing the speed of height growth.


Parents can engage in a 30-minute daily jogging routine with their children to improve their health and create conditions for good height growth. Running strengthens and makes the leg joints more robust, flexible, and firm. It is also a form of exercise that stimulates the production of growth hormones, which is beneficial for natural height development.
Underdevelopment is a serious health condition that parents should not overlook. If there are suspicions of underdevelopment, it is important to apply appropriate treatments as early as possible or seek medical advice to avoid affecting the child’s natural height development.