RSV typically causes cold-like symptoms in both children and adults. It is extremely common (and most often benign) in children, but may progress to a more serious condition. According to the CDC, when infants and children are exposed to RSV for the first time, 25% to 40% of them have signs or symptoms of bronchiolitis or pneumonia, and up to 1 in 50 will require hospitalization. About 50% of all children who have been hospitalized for this virus go on to develop asthma-like symptoms after being discharged.
Recommended dosing for children is much lower than for adults. A safe supplemental dose for infants is 400 IU daily (assuming they have nursing mothers who are not supplementing with vitamin D), while children over age 1 generally do well with a daily maintenance dose of 1000 IU and no more than 2000 IU. Ideal dosing for all ages is dependent on the season, skin pigmentation, latitude, and total sun exposure. Though it is essential for optimal functioning of the body and is extremely useful for numerous health conditions, vitamin D is a hormone and should be used with caution. A simple blood test checking vitamin D levels can help you and your health care provider determine whether you (and your baby if you’re pregnant or plan to be) can benefit from vitamin D supplementation. After supplementation has been initiated, regular monitoring of vitamin D levels is recommended to both ensure adequate dosing and prevent toxicity due to overdosing.