Parents ‘ignore health guidance on vitamin D’

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The majority of parents are ignoring health guidance and not giving their children essential vitamins, new figures suggest.

Despite NHS guidance suggesting that children aged six months to five years should receive daily vitamin D supplements, 59 per cent of parents are not taking up the advice, a poll found.

The survey, commissioned by the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA), found that 64 per cent felt their children were getting enough vitamin D from their diets alone.

The poll, which saw 10,000 UK adults questioned, including 5,800 parents, found that 76 per cent of people didn’t know that youngsters are advised to take vitamin D supplements.

And more than a third said there was not enough information available about food supplements.

Last year, England’s chief medical officer Professor Dame Sally Davies recommended that all under fives should receive free drops or tablets containing vitamins A, C and D.

At present only low-income families qualify for free vitamins on the NHS but there are rising concerns about the number of children who develop rickets – the most common cause of the bone condition is a lack of vitamin D.

Health officials have estimated that 40 per cent of children
are not getting enough vitamin