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The Department of Health (DoH) recommends universal vitamin D
supplementation for non-formula-dependent children aged 6 months to 5
years . Following the report by Jamieson et al. , we share similar
data from North Tyneside, showing that few children are being supplemented
with vitamin D and that parental awareness of current recommendations is
We distributed questionnaires to consecutive parents an...
We distributed questionnaires to consecutive parents and carers of
children aged 6 months to 5 years, presenting acutely to the Children's
Assessment Unit at North Tyneside General Hospital earlier this year. We
defined children at high-risk of vitamin D deficiency as those receiving
less than 500 ml formula milk per day. The hospital serves a predominantly
White British population at risk of vitamin D deficiency owing to the
negative impact of reduced sunlight exposure in the higher latitudes of
The median age of the surveyed population was 27 months. Overall
10.5% (4/38) took Vitamin D supplements or 15.4% (4/26) in the high risk
group. Only 18.5% (7/38) of carers were aware of current DoH
recommendations with regard to vitamin D supplementation.
In view of the resurgence of vitamin D deficiency and its paediatric
manifestations [3-4], we support the suggestion that a health promotion
campaign to raise public awareness of DoH recommendations on
supplementation is indicated and argue for universal vitamin distribution
for children from birth to 5 years in primary care.
1.National Institutes of health. July
2.Jamieson K, Braha N, Gritz A, et al. Vitamin D deficiency: are we
preventing the preventable? Arch Dis Child 2014;99(5):486-7.
3.Ladhani S, Srinivasan L, Buchanan C, et al. Presentation of Vitamin
D deficiency. Arch Dis Child 2004;89(8):781-4.
4.Pearce SH, Cheetham TD. Diagnosis and management of vitamin D
deficiency. BMJ 2010;340:b5664.