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The importance of vitamin D for children

The Government recommends that everybody should be taking vitamin D supplements during autumn and winter. However, the sunshine vitamin is especially important for children’s health and development.

With vitamin D related diseases such as rickets making a comeback, it’s more important than ever that we are protecting our children from a deficiency that can be easily rectified with supplementation.

Dr Benjamin Jacobs, consultant paediatrician and Director of Children’s Service at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has spent years treating children suffering vitamin D deficiency. He says: "This year it has finally been recognised by the national authorities that all children need a regular intake of Vitamin D.

“It is difficult to get enough sunshine, and from October until March it is not possible to make Vitamin D from sunshine in the UK. A daily supplement of 400 units is good for children of all ages.

“Doctors have campaigned to prevent skin cancer by protecting children from sunshine, so we now need to ensure children get Vitamin D by mouth. It is unacceptable to allow children to suffer a lack of vitamin D in this day and age.”

Supplementing from birth

The Department of Health (DoH) recommends all infants and young children under five years use a vitamin D supplement.

Dr Jacobs says:

“Babies in the UK should be given Vitamin D supplements from soon after birth as there is not enough natural Vitamin D in a normal healthy diet, and there is not enough sunshine in the UK to allow us to make Vitamin D ourselves.

“Without Vitamin D there is a danger that babies will develop problems with their bones and muscles. Babies and young toddlers are particularly susceptible to low blood calcium levels if they do not have sufficient Vitamin D. It is easy and safe to give all children a daily dose of Vitamin D and this is now the standard recommendation in the UK and many other countries in Europe and North America.”

One spray a day, keeps low levels at bay

BetterYou’s DLux oral vitamin D spray range comes in different strengths for people of all ages and is a great option for children who find tablets difficult to swallow.

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