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Rickets is a disease that happens in young children. It happens in children who do not get enough vitamin D and calcium. (Vitamin D and calcium are very important for bone strength.) Rickets causes larger gaps inside bones and turns them dry and spongy. It also makes the legs curve outward (away from each other).

The word "rickets" comes from the Greek word rhakhis, which means "spine".

Causes[change | change source]

These things make a person more likely to get rickets:

  • They have a dark skin colour
  • They spend too little time outside (humans can get vitamin D from sunlight)
  • They always wear sunscreen when going out (this blocks the body from taking in vitamin D from sunlight)
  • They do not eat enough food that has calcium or vitamin D in it, because of lactose intolerance or a strict vegetarian diet
  • They cannot make or use vitamin D because of a medical disorder, like coeliac disease

Symptoms[change | change source]

  • Brittle (easily broken) bones
  • Bleeding more than normal
  • Stunted growth (not growing like a healthy child would)
  • Weak teeth and bones