Rickets on the rise
With up to 25% of children being deficient in vitamin D, a rise in cases of rickets has lead to Englands Cheif Medical Officer calling for free vitamins to be provided for all children under 5. At the moment, vitamins A, C and D are provided to children between 6 months and 4 years if their parents are on benefits, but since new figures have been published, there is call for this to be extended to all to help safeguard the health of our children in the future.
Not just poverty related
Prof Dame Sally Davies claims that more needs to be done to give our children a healthy start and that a vitamin D deficiency isn’t limited to children in poverty. Premature babies, those from ethnic minorities and children that are covered up to protect from the sun are also affected. She claims that children stay inside and become locked to TV screens and are reluctant to get outside. Winter sun doesn’t provide the same amount of vitamin D so suppliments may be neccessary, cost only pennies a day and save money in the long term.
What really is best for our children?
However, as parents we often feel we are given contradicting information; cover your children up from the sun, be aware of the dangers of skin cancer –¬†and as well as the worries about sun damage, we are also less inclined to let our children ‘play out’ as much due to concerns over their safety. Our parents thought nothing of sending us out to play for hours in the sun and fresh air with little need for worry over strangers, violence or road dangers, but our world is now a very different place.
Other’s would also argue that instead of feeing our children pills, we should be concentrating more on healthy eating, balanced diets and a good attitude towards regular physical exercise. Surely using our common sense when it comes to sun exposure and teaching our children the benefits of healthy living would be far more beneficial and cheaper in the long run than simply administering a pill?