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You are here : home > Child's Healthcare > Childhood illnesses and medical conditions > How to Prevent Scurvy (A Vitamin C Deficiency Disease) in Children?

How to Prevent Scurvy (A Vitamin C Deficiency Disease) in Children?

Lack of Vitamin C in the diet of children can make them suffer from diseases like scurvy. Read on to learn more about the common causes and symptoms of scurvy and some tips for preventing this disease in children.


Scurvy is a disease caused due to lack of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) in human body. Although, it is a very rarely occurring disease, it has been seen that people, especially elderly people, alcoholics and those who are devoid of proper diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables are susceptible to this disease. Kids and infants, who are not getting sufficient Vitamin C in their diet, are also very prone to this disease.

Need for Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a very important nutrient which our body needs. We need it for producing ‘Collagen’ and for absorbing the iron from the food we eat. Our body cannot produce Vitamin C naturally. To get Vitamin C, we have to eat food rich in Vitamin C. Mostly all fresh fruits and vegetables have Vitamin C in them. Normally, an average male needs 90mg of Vitamin C and an average female needs 75gm. For infants the daily requirement is around 25gm. For kids falling in the age group of 1 to 14 years, the daily requirement is around 30-35 mg.

Causes of Scurvy in Children

The main reason for scurvy is lack of Vitamin C intake in a human body. This can happen for many reasons. Poverty, ignorance, natural calamities leading to shortage of food, fussy eating habits and restrictive diet plan, are some of the reasons why a deficiency of Vitamin C can be caused in adults and children which can lead to Scurvy.

Scurvy Symptoms

Initial symptoms in patients of scurvy can be appetite loss, weight loss, fever, diarrhoea, breathing problems, bleeding gums, discomfort in legs and paralysis. As the disease grows, patients suffer from bleeding gums and loosened teeth problems. This can lead to gingivitis and petechial haemorrhage. There can be haemorrhage in mucus membranes causing tiny pin-point marks on the body. Another, symptom of scurvy is proptosis or protruding eyes. The tissues between the joints of our body can become weak and start bleeding.

Symptoms of Scurvy in Children

 Children suffering from scurvy become very anxious by nature. They become very irritated. In infants this irritation can make them cry constantly. Children may suffer from pseudo paralysis. This often forces them to create the frog leg posture for comfort. They may also suffer from haemorrhage where there can be a lot of bleeding from the lower ends of long bones in the body.

Ways to Prevent Scurvy in Children

  • Lemon extracts can be very effective in curing scurvy. Lemon has high reserves of Vitamin C. Mix some lemon juice in a glass of lukewarm water and make your children drink it twice daily.
  • Gooseberries are another great option for curing scurvy. Dry Gooseberries and grind them.  Mix it with milk or water and make your children drink it before sleeping.
  • Orange juice has a high Vitamin C content. Drinking it regularly can ensure curing of scurvy in children who are suffering from it.
  • Tomatoes and potatoes can be an excellent sources of Vitamin C. Include them in the diet. It can help to prevent the chances of scurvy among children.
  • All kinds of green vegetables have a good source of Vitamin C in them. Consuming them regularly can help cure and prevent scurvy.
  • Animal products like oysters have a good source of Vitamin C.
  • Apart from all these, medicinal supplements which are prescribe by your doctor for Vitamin C can be consumed to cure scurvy.

Children who live in slums or the ones who cannot get a proper meal due to financial crunch can suffer from Scurvy. Also children who are fussy eaters and do not eat vegetables can suffer from this disease. The best way to cure scurvy in children is to make them eat a proper diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. By following these simple ways kids can get as much Vitamin C as they need daily.


What are the causes of scurvy in children? How to prevent scurvy in children? What are the ways to cure scurvy in children? Discuss here.

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