I've been diagnosed with being low on vitamin D. Since I started taking a 1000 IU supplement that my doctor recommended, I've seen much reduced skin issues.

My son has skin issues. We have to slather him with creams like Hydrolatum to keep his skin in good shape. We have a prescribed steroid cream for when the Hydrolatum isn't enough. He's had allergy tests and they have not pointed to his skin issues being an allergy issue. We usually give him a 400 IU vitamin D/day supplement.

My question:

How much total vitamin D does a toddler usually need, including what he gets from sun, food and supplements. I know the 400 IU recommendation is on the low side. We live in the US northeast so for large parts of the year, he gets very little vitamin D from sun. Of course, he gets some from milk and the supplement we give him, but I suspect he might need something more like the 1000 IU my doctor recommended to me. Doctors we've seen haven't been specific about the total amount of vitamin D my son needs.

I know about the ODS Vitamin D page.

  • How do you know that the 400 IU recommendation is on the low side? Here's the CDC link: cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/vitamin_D.htm and here's the original source: pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/122/5/1142.full His skin issues may be entirely unrelated to sun exposure or vitamin D; he may be irritated by the detergent you're using, by swimming in extremely chlorinated pools, or some other exposure. What does his pediatrician say about his 'issues'?
    – mmr
    Commented May 13, 2012 at 22:10
  • @mmr The RDA for his age is 600 IU; the UL is 2,500. The "pediatrics" article you reference says that 400 IU is a "minimum". Detergent is a definite possibility (I react to SLS). He doesn't swim yet (though the allergy doc we saw suggested adding chlorine to bath water to kill bacteria that might be causing his skin rashes). Our pedi had us do a blood test then recommended that we see an allergy specialist. The specialist didn't give specific advice about vitamin D.
    – jrennie
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 0:01
  • @jrennie-- if the doc isn't looking into vitamin D (especially after you mention it specifically), then I'd look into other causes first. Did the allergy test come back with any positives?
    – mmr
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 16:59

2 Answers 2


My answer to the questions about adequate doses of vitamin D, is that jrennie should have much more and her child should also have it´s one dosis. jrennie needs about 5000 IU and the child needs depending on age 1000-2000-3000 IU or more. Why don´t you learn from VDC, the Vitamin D Council. Best wishes from a swedish doctor, who made the lessons about vitamin D

Healthy children under the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU. Healthy children over the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight. Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU. Pregnant and lactating mothers - at least 6,000 IU.



Edited to add:

Sorry, but I do feel I have to give you another link about the problem with vitamin D dificiency.


  • Thanks for the links (+1). I've seen some of this before, but I appreciate the list of references on the "supplementation" page.
    – jrennie
    Commented May 18, 2012 at 2:15

My son's Pediatric Rehabilitation and Medicine doctor at University if Michigan hospital (who works with his Homeopathic M.D.) recommends 400-600 IU of Vitamin D per day.

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