Tag Archives: winter

Which flu vaccine should your child have?

There are two types of flu vaccine available for children in – a nasal spray and an injected vaccine, so who should get which?

• Children under 6 months are too young to be vaccinated (although expectant mothers aren’t!)
• Children aged 6 months to 2 years get the injected vaccine – two doses four weeks apart – although they are only eligible if they are in an ‘at risk’ group
• All children aged 2-6 on 31 August 2015 are all eligible flu vaccine and should get the nasal spray unless there are medical reasons (severely asthmatic or immunocompromised) for giving them an injected flu vaccine.
• Children aged 7-17 are eligible for vaccination if they are in an ‘at risk’ group, and will usually get the nasal spray.

Which flu vaccine should your child have?

At risk children are those with long term health conditions such as asthma and other respiratory diseases, liver, kidney and neurological conditions including learning disabilities, even if well managed.

Ask one of our pharmacists if you are not sure.

Should we all be taking a Vitamin D supplement?

Vitamin D for all?

Draft guidelines from an expert government nutrition committee in England recommend that we should all take a daily vitamin D supplement.

Should we all be taking a Vitamin D supplement?

Current advice is that vitamin D supplements should only be taken by ‘at risk’ groups, which include pregnant women, infants under 5 and the elderly.

People get most of their vitamin D from the action of sunlight on their skin, but low levels of sunlight during the winter and spending hours indoors can put you at risk of deficiency.

Dietary sources of vitamin D are limited and oily fish is the principle source, although there are small amounts in egg yolks, red meat and some breakfast cereals.

Vitamin D is responsible for bone development and deficiency can result in rickets and brittle bones.

Our pharmacy will carry vitamin D 10mcg supplements, which is the recommended strength, and you can ask the pharmacist for further advice.

Are you getting your vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important for keeping bones and teeth healthy. A lack of the vitamin can lead to deformities such as rickets in children, and a condition known as osteomalacia in adults which causes pain and tenderness.

Young woman at winter
Are you getting enough winter sun?

In England, around a fifth of adults and a sixth of children – around 10 million people –may have low vitamin D status. This is partly because the main source for vitamin D is from natural sunlight, and from mid-October to the beginning of April there is no sunlight at the correct wavelength for skin to create vitamin D.

Certain groups of people in the UK are also more likely to have lack of vitamin D. These include pregnant women, children and older adults. People with darker skin or who cover up when outdoors are also at risk of having low vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D is found in foods such as oily fish and fortified breakfast cereals, but if you think are missing out you can always buy a vitamin D supplement from your pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist for advice on the dose – adults should not exceed 0.025mg a day.