New figures released for National Vitamin D Awareness Week has prompted experts to urge parents to make ‘every day a Vitamin D day’
A study has revealed that the number of children seriously lacking in Vitamin D has increased by over 200 per cent, leading experts to stress the importance of children aged from six months to five years taking a daily supplement.
Figures show that 4,683 children suffering a Vitamin D deficiency were admitted to hospitals in 2013/14, compared with 1,389 cases in 2009/10.
READ: CHILDREN’S VITAMINS AND MINERALS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Vitamin D can be found in oily fish, egg yolk, red meat and some fortified foods – but sunlight it the best way to absorb the vitamin. Experts have warned that the lack of the vitamin could be due to the limited amount of time children spend outside during the summer.
Only four per cent of parents knew that sunlight could provide Vitamin D
In a survey of over 1,100 parents with children aged five and under and 250 health professionals, only four per cent knew that sunlight could provide Vitamin D. The survey conducted by a public health awareness campaign Vitamin D Mission also found that one third didn’t know about the Government advice that children aged six months to five years should take a daily supplement – especially during winter.
Half of parents revealed knowing ‘not much’ or ‘nothing’ about the role of Vitamin D in their child’s diet and over a third admitted they’ve never received any information of its importance.
‘These findings are very worrying as they seem to suggest that parents in the UK are still not properly informed of the major health issues associated with low levels of Vitamin D,’ says Dr Benjamin Jacobs, consultant paediatrician at the Royal National Orthoaedic Hospital.
Good levels of Vitamin D could also make childbirth less painful, a new study has found. The Department of Health recommends that ‘all pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D.’
READ: COULD VITAMIN D MAKE CHILDBIRTH LESS PAINFUL?
Do you give your child vitamin D supplements? Let us know in the comments box below.