Vitamin D supplementation is known to both prevent and treat rickets, a disease of hypomineralized bone. Childhood is a period of great bone development and, therefore, attention to the vitamin D needed to optimize bone health in childhood is imperative.
Observational studies have pointed to a vitamin D status, as indicated by a 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration, of 50 nmol/L to ensure avoidance of rickets and of 75 nmol/L to optimize health. However, the benefits of achieving these levels of vitamin D status are less evident when pediatric randomized, controlled trials are performed. In fact, no specific pediatric vitamin D supplementation has been established by the existing evidence. Yet, study of vitamin D physiology continues to uncover further potential benefits to vitamin D sufficiency. This disconnection between vitamin D function and trials of supplementation has led to new paths of investigation, including establishment of the best method to measure vitamin D status, examination of genetic variation in vitamin D metabolism, and consideration that vitamin D status is a marker of another variable, such as physical activity, and its association with bone health. Nevertheless, vitamin D supplementation in the range of 10-50 μg/day appears to be safe for children and remains a promising intervention that may yet be supported by clinical trials as a method to optimize pediatric health. Key Message: Pediatric vitamin D status is associated with avoidance of rickets. Randomized, controlled trials of vitamin D supplementation for pediatric bone health are limited and equivocal in their results. Beyond bone, decreased risk for autoimmune, infectious, and allergic diseases has been associated with higher vitamin D status. The specific vitamin D supplementation to optimize toddler, child, and adolescent outcomes is unknown, but doses 10-50 μg/day are safe and may be beneficial.

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