Women and young children are being urged to take vitamins

Pregnant women, and children under 5 are being urged to take Healthy Start Vitamins as part of a new campaign launching today

Women and young children are being urged to take vitamins

The campaign aims to increase public awareness of Healthy Start Vitamins and the impact of vitamin deficiency

The NHS recommends that pregnant women and children aged 3 months to 5 years should take a vitamin supplement to make sure people get the vitamins they need.

Not getting these vitamins can cause health problems for parents and children such as bone deformities, eye problems and increase difficulty in fighting infections. In extreme cases vitamin deficiencies can also cause death.

To help increase the take up of healthy start vitamins free packs will be given to new mums in Telford & Wrekin when they:

  • See their midwife at the booking appointment, and at discharge after delivery if breastfeeding.
  • See a health visitor as part of their 6-8 week check

The vitamins will be given away as part of a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council, Telford & Wrekin CCG, Shropshire and Telford Hospitals and Shropshire Community Health Trust.

Families who receive certain benefits are able to sign up for free vitamins via the Healthy Start Voucher scheme. Those who receive the following are eligible:

  • Income Support, or
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • Child Tax Credit (with a family income of £16,190 or less per year)
  • Universal Credit (with a family take home pay of £408 or less per month)

Healthy Start Vitamins can also be bought at a discounted rate from all pharmacies in Telford & Wrekin. Those with children under 5 and are not eligible for the voucher scheme are encouraged to buy them.

Councillor Arnold England, Cabinet Member for Communities, Health & Wellbeing said: “Even if you have the best diet, it is very hard for people get enough of the vitamins that parents and children need.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, all pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and young children are at risk of vitamin D deficiency and 8% of children under five in the UK don’t have enough vitamin A in their diet.

“I would therefore encourage all mums in Telford and Wrekin to follow NHS guidance and to look at purchasing Healthy Start Vitamins.”

More information about Healthy Start Vouchers can be found online.