Healthy Bones Week
Healthy Bones Week is conducted annually in August to promote the prevention of early onset of osteoporosis by teaching children to adopt three healthy habits: consuming adequate levels of calcium in the diet; obtaining enough vitamin D (ideally from sunlight on the skin); and doing weight bearing exercise. These habits which prevent early onset osteoporosis in later life must start early, since bones reach their peak density in our early 20s.
Childhood is the only opportunity to build strong bones for life. During childhood and the teen years, particularly just before puberty, the body is very efficient at storing calcium and building strong bones. By our early twenties, peak bone mass (maximum bone density) is achieved. That is why it is extremely important for growing kids to get enough calcium, exercise and safe sun exposure each day so their bones can grow properly. If they do not get enough of these three elements, they are at risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency, Rickets, and Osteoporosis.
Rickets is a preventable bone disease causing soft bones, resulting in bowed arms or legs. Rickets only occurs when children are growing.
Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones have lost calcium and other minerals, resulting in fragile bones that fracture more easily. Osteoporosis particularly affects women in their middle and later years, although some men are also affected. It can easily be prevented if action is taking at a young age when the body is still growing.
For further information about Healthy Bones Week please contact Arthritis ACT.