Preventing Vitamin D Deficiency in Toddlers
Vitamin D is essential for good bone health and although recognition of its importance is increasing, more awareness is needed about meeting children’s needs in the early years for its benefits to have the best chance for their long-term health.
With the re-emergence of diseases like rickets – thought to have disappeared at the beginning of the last century – this expert advice on foods, sunlight and supplements could not have come at a better time.
Dr Atul Singhal, Professor of Paediatric Nutrition at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Chair of the ITF, says:
“Vitamin D deficiency is serious but avoidable, and clear, trustworthy guidance is what’s needed. Because exposure to sunlight and diet don’t always provide enough vitamin D, pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and toddlers should take a daily supplement. But statistics show low awareness and uptake of supplements and there seems to be a lot of confusion around making sure that toddlers get enough vitamin D. Our new Guidance & Tips sheet gives simple advice on tackling the problem.”
Nick Bishop, Professor of Paediatric Bone Disease at the University of Sheffield and Director of Children's Clinical Research Facility Sheffield Children's Hospital, was one of the peer reviewers for the ITF’s guidance. He says:
“There is significant variation in the advice being given and the complexity of the advice is confusing. This Guidance & Tips sheet offers excellent information for families, in line with the government recommendations, including advice on the role of diet and outdoor play.”
Download the Infant and Toddler Forum Guidance & Tips sheet.
Children's belrosa Rosehip Syrup contains no added sugar, artificial colours or flavours and provides Vitamins C and D (50 per cent of your two to ten year old's daily requirements) available from selected health food stores and some Waitrose stores.