I received a press release saying that as of 1st April, Asda Pharmacy (in 218 Asda stores) will be giving out free Vitamin D to children above the age of 3. Apparently recent advice from the Chief Medical Officer has suggested that all high-risk groups (including children under 5) should take the supplement to top up on their natural supplies which are mainly obtained from sunlight.
I was horrified when I read this. I make sure we go out every day and get plenty of fresh air whether for just a walk or a trip to the park, ensure a healthy balanced diet and a good routine with plenty of sleep. Surely my child wouldn’t need to supplement his diet? I think that giving free vitamins is just encouraging lazy parenting. I know not everyone has access to a park or can afford a healthy balanced diet but it seems as though Asda is just capitalising on the advice to worry parents. Or am I being naive – do parents think if they give their child a vitamin they will be guaranteeing their long term good health?
A similar story was repeated in the latest issue of Gurgle magazine saying the Department of Health recommends a daily supplement (containing Vitamins A, C and D) for all children between six months and 5 years. I’m not normally one to voice a political opinion but why does the Government insist on telling us how we should bring up our children, surely something they accused the last government of doing? It drives me mad with my middle class values to want the best for the children I desperately wanted, and only had when we could afford to.
A vitamin D deficiency is a bad thing (leading to rickets amongst other disorders) and I know certain ethnic groups are more at risk, but do we really need to be told how to bring up our children? Wouldn’t it be better to educate people on the benefits of a healthy diet and fresh air rather than doling out free vitamins?
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!