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G194 Vitamin d and vitamin d deficiency: how much do parents know?
  1. R Carr1,
  2. D Mahmood2,
  3. A McEvoy3
  1. 1School of Medicine, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Department, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, Preston, UK
  3. 3Orthopaedic Department, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, Preston, UK

Abstract

Background Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among children and the majority are unaware of their low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is an important component for the optimal health of children, as well as playing a role in reducing the risk of various chronic health issues in the future. This study aimed to gauge the level of awareness and knowledge of vitamin D amongst the parents of paediatric orthopaedic patients.

Study design A retrospective observational study was conducted using a paper-based questionnaire to assess parental awareness. The questionnaire was distributed to parents of children attending paediatric orthopaedic clinics in a single Teaching Hospital Trust over a period of four months.

Results 220 parents responded to the questionnaire. 85% of respondents believed vitamin D to be important for the health of a child. 65% said they knew what vitamin D was. 40% of all parents asked were unable to write a brief statement of their basic understanding surrounding vitamin D. 17% give their children vitamin D supplementation. 2% of the respondents’ children have been told they are vitamin D deficient.

The participants were asked what they believed to be good dietary sources of vitamin D. 64% of respondents could identify oily fish or eggs. However, 46% believed dairy products to be a good dietary source of vitamin D.

The questionnaire asked respondents whether GPs have provided education or advice about the importance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels in children, only 9% of parents said that they had received information from their child’s GP.

59% of respondents to the questionnaire wanted more information about vitamin D and vitamin D deficiency. This information was sent to each of those respondents as a short leaflet.

Conclusion Parental awareness of vitamin D and deficiency is poor. There is a need for increased levels of parental education to ensure children have a better chance of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels.

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