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The 411 on Vitamin D

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Did you know that Vitamin D contributes to strong bones in young athletes? An estimated 50 million children in the U.S. suffer from low Vitamin D levels. That can put young athletes at risk for recurrent fractures.

Bone Health in Young Athletes

Calcium and Vitamin D are both important for strong bones. Many children, especially those who are dairy avoidant, have a diet that is lacking in needed calcium. The body needs calcium for critical body functions. When dietary intake is poor, the body will take or “steal” the calcium from the stores in the bone, thus further contributing to poor bone density over time. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, so even if calcium intake is good, a child can still be at risk for developing poor bone strength.

It is important to recognize that children and adolescents are in their prime bone-building years, as peak bone mass is typically achieved by 25 years of age. After that, bone loss gradually occurs naturally with age. Therefore, the “bank” or reserves that are achieved by that age will need to sustain the individual throughout life.

Vitamin D, our “sunshine vitamin,” is often easy to make during the summer months. However, because of the fear over adverse effects of sun exposure, sunscreen is applied to the skin blocking up to 95 percent of Vitamin D. Athletes who train inside all year round may be especially at risk for Vitamin D deficiency. During the winter, even in sunny climates, Vitamin D is more difficult to obtain from the sun because of its latitude. Unfortunately, Vitamin D is not readily present in a typical diet, so it is common for Vitamin D levels to significantly decrease in the winter season.

What to do to boost Calcium and Vitamin D Levels

  • Encourage a balanced healthy diet with quality sources of calcium. Children typically need 4-6 servings of calcium rich foods every day (small piece of cheese, cup of yogurt, 6 oz. milk)

  •  If a child is dairy avoidant, consider calcium fortified food and drinks (orange juice, cereals, almond milk)

  • In the summer, allow short periods of time outside without sunscreen
    -15-30 minutes between 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at least 2 times per week. Dark skinned people require three-to-five times longer exposure
    -Expose most of the skin (shorts and t-shirt)
    -Aim for just enough exposure for the skin to be pink

  • If there is concern over the diet/sun exposure, consider giving a supplement. The amount to supplement depends on the age/size of the child
    -Calcium: 500-1000 mg per day
    -Vitamin D: 400-1000 units per day – Vitamin D3 is most commonly recommended

  • Screening for Vitamin D deficiency may be considered in the case of recurrent fractures, stress fractures, or poor healing of bone injury

For more information, visit www.skyridgemedcenter.com.

March 11, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.