Just like adults, babies and children also need their quota of Vitamin D every day to help them to stay healthy.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is essential for making sure our bones, teeth and muscles are healthy as they develop and remain healthy as we get older.
We tend to get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight exposure, which starts in the UK around March and ends as the Summer draws to a close and Autumn arrives, usually around September time.
Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world
Given the fact, it’s one of the vitamins we can all get access to, simply by being out in the sun, you’d like to think it’s something we’ve all got good levels of. But Vitamin D deficiency happens to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world.1
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, 1 in 5 people in the UK have low Vitamin D levels, which are associated with a higher risk of poor musculoskeletal health, such as Rickets, Osteomalacia, falls and poor muscle strength.2 And the thing is, few people are aware of the fact they’re deficient in it, so fail to recognise some of the common symptoms.3
What is Vitamin D good for?
Overall, it’s good for maintaining good bone, teeth and muscle health and avoiding health issues, such as these, (which are often associated with low Vitamin D levels):4
- Regularly getting infections, colds or the flu
- Feeling tired
- Bone, lower back or muscle pain
- Slow-healing wounds
- Hair loss
For more on how to identify and help beat Vitamin D deficiency, check out this article.
How much Vitamin D do adults need?
The Department of Health has Vitamin D guidelines in place for those over the age of 64 and pregnant and lactating women. (There’s also guidance for children under the age of four – more on this below).
Generally speaking, adults who are at risk of low sun exposure should get 10 µg of Vitamin D a day, mostly through supplements.
Meanwhile, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has suggested that women, who are pregnant or breastfeeding may choose to take up to 10 µg of vitamin D a day during these periods.5
Vitamin D for kids
Low Vitamin D levels is something we can all suffer with. However, it’s most common for young women, children, the elderly and people with dark skin, such as those of African, African-Caribbean or south Asian origin.6
It’s recommended that those most at risk of having low Vitamin D levels – i.e. the people within the groups mentioned immediately above – should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement all-year round. This also applies to children from the age of one to four.7
Children aged one to four old should be given a daily supplement containing 10µg of vitamin D.8
Vitamin D for babies
When it comes to Vitamin D for babies, Public Health England recommends that babies under one-year-old should be given a daily 8.5-10mcg vitamin D supplement.
However, babies who have more than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day don’t need a vitamin D supplement, as formula is already fortified. It’s also advised that babies are exclusively breastfed until they’re around the age of six months.9
Vitamin D supplements for babies and children
There are Vitamin D drops for babies and children available, which make it easier to give them their daily Vitamin D boost. For instance, there’s our Kids’ Vitamin D3 drops, which come in a 30ml bottle and are unflavoured, so can easily be mixed with water, milk or juice. And for babies, there are Vitamin D supplements, such as Colief’s Vitamin D3 drops that can be mixed with food or drink or fed directly.
Recommended daily Vitamin D levels – at a glance
We all need different levels of Vitamin D, which vary depending on how old we are. To quickly recap:
- Babies from birth up to the age of one – should have a daily supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms (µg)10
- Babies that being fed infant formula – shouldn’t be given a vitamin D supplement if they’re having more than 500ml of infant formula a day. Infant formula is fortified with Vitamin D and other nutrients11
- Children aged one to four – should be given a daily supplement that contains 10µg of Vitamin D12
- Adults should have – should have 10 micrograms (mcg) every day (the same level as one to four-year-olds)13
Last updated: 7 July 2020