The importance of vitamin D for you and your child

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Health Page by Saira Nadeem

Vitamin D helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, so it’s important for you and your child to be getting enough of it.
The best source is the sun and from April to September most people are able to get all the Vitamin D they need from sunlight alone. However, from October to March we cannot get Vitamin D from sunlight and therefore need to turn to alternative sources.
Vitamin D is found in foods such as oily fish, red meat, and egg yolks. Fortified foods such as orange juice and breakfast cereals are also a good source, but not all brands are fortified so you need to check the label. You can buy Vitamin D supplements (and drops for under fives) at pharmacies and supermarkets. Adults and children who qualify for the Healthy Start scheme can receive supplements free of charge. Your local Children’s Centre in Burngreave will be able to advise you on this. People with dark skin are more likely to be deficient in Vitamin D because pigmentation reduces the production of it in the skin. Those who have very little exposure to sunlight are also more likely to be deficient. These high risk groups should consider taking supplements throughout the year. If you would like to find out more please visit: www.healthystart.nhs.uk

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