All under-fives could get free vitamins under plans being considered by the government — but Bolton health chiefs are one step ahead in the fight to tackle the rise of rickets.Yes. Rickets. Really!
The number of people being treated for rickets has doubled in the town over the past two years, according to figures released in April.
A lack of exposure to sunlight is being blamed for the resurgence of the disease, which was virtually wiped out in the Western world in the 1940s.
Now, England's chief medical officer — Professor Dame Sally Davies — has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review whether all children should receive drops or tablets containing vitamins A, C and D.Yes, because, of course, giving all children vitamins is clearly the done thing to do. We can’t single out those who might actually need them, because...
Well, why not?
A council spokesman said: “We are committed to giving every child in Bolton the best start in life and are always looking at ways we can improve everyone’s health.
“The Healthy Start programme offers families on low incomes the opportunity to benefit from free milk, fresh or frozen fruit and veg, and vitamins, including vitamin D.
“In Bolton we are enhancing this programme by offering the Healthy Start vitamins free to families with young children who might not qualify for the Healthy Start programme but who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
“We are also working with local pharmacies to promote the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements during winter, particularly for those groups of people who might be at risk.”Without, of course, drawing any attention to those who ‘might be at risk’…
*There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Vitamin