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Nurses 'lack vitamin D confidence'

Most healthcare professionals are not familiar with the chief medical officer’s recent advice about vitamin D for young children, a survey found.

The chief medical officer (CMO) issued a letter that restated government advice that a vitamin D supplement should be given to children aged six months to five-years-old every day.

Some 66% of healthcare professionals (HCPs) said they were not familiar with the letter, a survey by Cow & Gate found.

The survey also discovered that 41% of HCPs still lack confidence when talking about vitamin D with toddlers’ parents.

Although 65% of HCPs said they have seen an impact upon their daily practice in the last year, less that half of those asked raised the issue of vitamin D supplements with the carers and parents of under fives.

The vitamin is essential for helping bones and teeth develop, especially during the important first few years of life.

Foods which are fortified with vitamin D can offer a convenient, simple solution but just 28% of HCPs speak about fortified milks with parents.

Dietician Dr Carrie Ruxton, who looked at the findings, said: “Given that fewer than one in 10 toddlers receive a supplement and many HCPs remain unsure of vitamin D advice, I recommend a combination approach to boost a child’s vitamin D status through supplementation, safe sun exposure and eating foods high in vitamin like oily fish and Growing Up Milk.”

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • It's true, as a nurse I did not know about this until I read something about it in Husbands BMJ. He was as surprised about this as me so we checked online and yes it turned out we should be giving our 3 year old Vit D supplements. But neither our son's H.V or Paediatrician had ever mentioned it! As for getting health visitors to talk about growing up milk - well good luck with that one! They never seem to want to talk about any formula milk.

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