Free vitamin D injections for East Lancashire under-fives to fight rickets (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Free vitamin D injections for East Lancashire under-fives to fight rickets
3:27pm Friday 25th October 2013 in News
ALL East Lancashire under-fives will get free vitamin D injections to combat the menace of rickets after England’s health boss warned the bone disease was making a come-back.
England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies yesterday called for all young children to receive NHS vitamin supplements to safeguard their health.
She said the current national policy of free vitamins A, C and D only to under-fives from low-income families was inadequate.
Up to 25 per cent of children nationally are believed to be vitamin D deficient, leading to a rise in rickets cases.
Lancashire county health boss Azhar Ali said: “Studies have shown that there are higher than average rates in some parts of East Lancashire, and because of this, the county council funds vitamin supple-ments to all children aged five and under.”
Local GPs Pervez Muzaffar and Mike Ions, who lead on public health for the East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Groups issued a statement which said: “As GPs, we are aware of instances of diseases such as rickets among the local population and acutely conscious of the potential damage which can be done by unhealthy lifestyles, such as obesity. We often give advice on healthy eating and exercise, both of which can help to prevent illness. Healthy Start vitamins are offered to all local children up to the age of five.”
Blackburn with Darwen Council health boss Mohammed Khan said: “A lack of vitamin D can cause rickets in children and painful softening of the bones in adults. It is a painful and awful disease but is preventable.
“Nearly all of our vitamin D is made in our skin when it is exposed to the sun, but in climates such as ours it can be very difficult to get enough of it, especially in winter.
“That is why we are continuing with the Shine campaign and offering free vitamin supplements containing vitamin D for all pregnant women, new mums and children under five.”
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