Bone Health Program Contact number | 202-476-2112

Bone Health Program

Reducing Risk of Fractures and Other Injuries

Certain illnesses and medications can affect the strength and density of a child’s bones. We created the Bone Health Program to help all young patients maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of broken bones (fractures) and other injuries.

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Certain illnesses and medications can affect the strength and density of a child’s bones. We created the Bone Health Program to help all young patients maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of broken bones (fractures) and other injuries.

Bone density is the term used to describe the strength of bones. We measure bone density with a DXA machine (dual-emergency X-ray absorptiometry machine), and use the results to identify a problem and monitor bone health over time. Children’s being one few centers in the country with the equipment and expertise to adequately diagnose kids.

For young patients it is important to have a pediatric professional interpret the results of DXA scan. Our specialists have the expertise to distinguish low bone density in children and develop an appropriate treatment plan to improve your child’s bone health, and minimize the risk of further bone loss and other injuries.

Risk Factors for Children

There are many factors that influence bone health, but children with certain conditions are at higher risk for low bone density, including:

  • Cancer
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic renal disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Eating disorders
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Gaucher’s disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Hemophilia
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Malabsorption syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Osteogenesis Imperfecta
  • Pathologic (disease related) fractures
  • Repeat fractures
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Seizure disorders
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

As well, the following procedures, therapies, and medications may affect bone density:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Glucocorticoid (steroid) therapies
  • Kidney transplant
  • Small bowel transplants

If your child has a condition listed above or has undergone one of these procedures, speak to a member of your child’s healthcare team about enrolling your child in the Bone Health Program.

The Bone Health Program Team

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Pediatric specialists at Children’s National work closely to ensure an integrated approach to caring for each child and family.