Most people are shocked to hear that children can be affected by osteoporosis. At present, there are no statistics available regarding children, however, no child should be left at risk of this disease.
Anyone under 21 years of age who breaks bones easily or has risk factors for bone loss, should be investigated. A child being on a medication that causes bone loss, for example, a steroid asthma inhaler, should have a DXA scan done, so a plan can be put in place to reduce their risk of fracturing. Children at risk can only be scanned on a DXA machine that has the additional software for children. They will also need an X-ray of their non-dominant hand, as it is necessary to check their chronological age with their bone age. This is because their hips will not be fully developed, so only the bones in their spine are analysed in the results. It is important that parents seek advice and treatment, from a specialist who deals with children with bone disorders.