Kids and Broken Bones – When is it a Warning Sign?

Published: November 10, 2011
Updated: April 26, 2022

It’s not your imagination that kids are breaking more bones now than their parents did. A Mayo Clinic study published in JAMA discovered that forearm fractures have risen more than 32% in boys, and 56% in girls in the past 30 years. The Mayo clinic study also found a correlation between forearm fractures and an increased risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis later in life. Focusing on kids’ bone health now, can have immediate and far-reaching benefits.

Getting the right nutrients for bones is important for kids, because peak bone mass is reached before the age of 25, according to The International Osteoporosis Foundation. A number of different dietary and lifestyle factors could be linked to the rise in fractures and causing kids to not maximize their bone growth:

  • Mineral depletion of our soil & food processing = mineral depleted foods
  • Poor dietary choices = necessary vitamins and minerals are not being consumed
  • Hypercalcuria = minerals being excreted too fast
  • Celiac disease/Digestive Disorders = malabsorption-related deficiencies
  • Lack of sunshine = vitamin D deficiencies
  • Lack of exercise = not enough force put on bones
  • Cheap Supplements = low quality poorly absorbed ingredients and/or lacking important co-factors

A common misconception is that kids who drink plenty of milk are getting all the nutrients they need for strong bones. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “most people need more vitamin D than they can get from drinking three glasses of milk—and they need less calcium than three glasses of milk provide.” Because high dairy intake has been associated with an increase in prostate and ovarian cancers, Harvard Public Health suggests for people who enjoy dairy to limit it to 1-2 glasses a day, and/or take a supplement with calcium and vitamin D. Building strong bones is not just dependent on calcium, but a synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, impact exercise and other factors. If any of the key bone-building factors is out of balance, it can derail bone health.

Getting exercise is an important component of building strong bones, especially impact exercise. If your child has broken a bone, it might just be the result of a forceful impact – broken bones can be an unfortunate side effect of many sports and physical activities. But if bone density is not strong, even a light impact to the bone can lead to a fracture. If there is a deficiency or something amiss, identifying and correcting it early can help kids to get back on track to ensure they develop optimal bone density during their important bone-building years.

Read Sara’s blog: Building Strong Bones in Kids for more information.

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  1. Deeba

    November 18, 2011 , 6:55 pm

    Is it appreciatable to give multi vitamins to children unnecessary? Coz i heard that they too contain presevatives that is not good for body immune system.

  2. Got Fractures? | Rebalance Life

    September 21, 2012 , 3:36 pm

    […] Kids with frequent breaks might want to be checked for food sensitivities or allergies.  Read Kids and Broken Bones – When Is it a Warning SIgn?  Some of the most common food allergies/intolerances are dairy, gluten, wheat, eggs, soy, nuts, and […]

  3. Suzanne Stoeckle

    June 7, 2017 , 12:19 pm

    What is the recommended dosage for children – 6months – 2 years

  4. Monica

    June 7, 2017 , 4:07 pm

    Hi Suzanne,

    The Tolerable Upper Limit for Calcium/day is as follows:
    Age Male Female Pregnant Lactating
    0–6 months 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
    7–12 months 1,500 mg 1,500 mg
    1–8 years 2,500 mg 2,500 mg
    9–18 years 3,000 mg 3,000 mg 3,000 mg 3,000 mg
    19–50 years 2,500 mg 2,500 mg 2,500 mg 2,500 mg
    51+ years 2,000 mg 2,000 mg

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, PhD - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,