Vitamin D is known as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, and that’s because our bodies are able to produce it by the action of sunlight containing UVB radiation on certain chemicals within the skin.
Why is vitamin D for children important?
Vitamin D is important for children for the following:
- GROWTH – Vitamin D is needed for the normal growth and development of bone in children and plays a role in cell division.
- IMMUNE SYSTEM – Vitamin D contributes to the normal function of the immune system.
- TEETH – Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal teeth.
- MUSCLES – Vitamin D contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle function.
So, growing children need vitamin D – it is important for kid’s health.
Sunshine in Ireland
In countries with geographic coordinates of latitudes below 37°N of the equator, UVB radiation is sufficient for all-round vitamin D production (1) .
Most of Ireland is positioned above 50° north of the Earth’s Equator.
Because of Ireland’s northerly latitude, there is inadequate quality and quantity of sunlight to enable sufficient production of vitamin D by the body during the months between November and March.
Even when it’s sunny in the winter, the sun’s rays are of the wrong type for the production of vitamin D.
Besides latitude, exposure of skin to UVB radiation is influenced by many factors; these include time of day, season, altitude, cloud cover, air pollution, clothing and sunscreen use.
Dietary sources of vitamin D are generally not consumed in sufficient quantities by the Irish population to counter the lack of sunlight exposure. (2)
How can I ensure good levels of vitamin D for my child in autumn and winter?
As we can’t rely on the sun so that our children can make vitamin D, we can make sure that we include some vitamin D rich foods in their diets. Good sources include:
- Oily fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines)
- Red meat
- Egg yolks
- Fortified cereals and milk
If you are looking for a children’s vitamin D supplement Haliborange Calcium and Vitamin D Softies contain 100% of the Nutrient Reference Value (NRV)