My baby bruises easily. Could this be a sign of a vitamin deficiency?
Marilyn Swanson registered dietitian
If your baby is otherwise healthy and gaining weight, it's highly unlikely that a vitamin deficiency is responsible for his bruises.
Children who eat a healthy diet rarely develop a vitamin deficiency. Such deficiencies take time to develop, and in the United States they mostly show up in people with long-standing medical conditions that interfere with nutrient absorption (such as chronic diarrhea) or who are receiving long-term antibiotic treatment.
In children, the skin is the most commonly injured part of the body, and bruising is the most common form of skin-related injury. As kids become more active, it's more likely that they'll have bruises, especially on the shins, chin, forehead, and lower arms from accidental injuries. Excessive bruising that appears to be of varying ages or multiple bruises in less typical places (upper arms, trunk, upper legs, sides of face, ears and neck, and buttocks) raise the suspicion of deliberate injury. If you have any reason to suspect that your baby isn't safe with any of his caregivers, act on those concerns immediately.
Remember: Some kids just bruise more easily than others, and once a child becomes active, bruises are very common. In fact, the source of most bruises is never detected.
If you think your baby bruises too easily, talk with your doctor. A vitamin supplement probably isn't the answer, but she can address your concerns and help you get to the bottom of what's going on.
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