New guidance recommending that all babies from birth up to one year of age, as well as pregnant women, should take a precautionary daily supplement of vitamin D has been published.
The Guidance states:
- As a precaution, breastfed babies from birth up to one year of age should be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10μg/d vitamin D per day.
- Babies who are formula fed do not require vitamin D if they are having 500ml/day of infant formula or more, as infant formula already has added vitamin D.
The guidance on vitamin D has been updated in line with recommendations from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and has been approved by Dr Catherine Calderwood, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer.
Dr Calderwood said:
“We get most of the vitamin D we need from sunlight during summer months. However, anyone can experience a vitamin D deficiency. New born babies depend on their mother’s levels during pregnancy meaning it is important that pregnant women, and babies up to a year old, continue to receive a daily supplement.
“This new guidance reflects the latest available evidence and will help ensure the best start for children. It is essential that parents and guardians are properly supported to follow this new advice, which is why additional, specific guidance for them and healthcare professionals has been created to support implementation.”
It is now recommended that everyone in the UK should take a vitamin D supplement daily.
Breastfeeding women and children up to age 4 who are eligible for Healthy Start can get free supplements containing vitamin D. Healthy Start vitamins are also available free of charge to all pregnant women in Scotland for the duration of their pregnancy, regardless of their entitlement to the Healthy Start scheme.