FDA Warns Against Accidental Infant Vitamin Overdose

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a warning to parents and caregivers about the dangers of accidental overdose when giving infants liquid vitamin D supplement products.

Some products are sold with droppers that could allow harmful amounts of the vitamin to be given to an infant. These droppers can hold a greater amount of liquid vitamin D than an infant should receive.  Infants should not receive more than 400 international units (IUs) of vitamin D a day.

“It is important that infants not get more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin D,” says Linda M. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., interim chief medical officer in FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Parents and caregivers should only use the dropper that comes with the vitamin D supplement purchased.”

Vitamin D helps in the formation of strong bones and is essential to keep children from developing rickets.  Opinions vary as to whether breastfed babies require additional vitamin D supplementation (it is a part of most infant formulas).  Regular exposure to sunlight can provide children with a good source of vitamin D and is, in fact, the way that human were designed to receive the vitamin.  Darker skinned children and babies whose mothers suffer from a vitamin D deficiency (rare in the developed world) might have deficiencies that require supplementation.

Source: FDA and Kellymom.com