Vitamin D for infants, children and young people - guidance

Vitamin D helps the development of healthy, strong bones and to prevent rickets. RCPCH reiterates the importance of babies and children taking supplementation.

All infants should receive a daily vitamin D supplement of 8.5-10 mcg from birth until one year old, unless they are consuming more than 500 mL of formula milk a day, as infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.

Children aged between one and four years should receive a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 mcg. Parents should consider giving the same dose to children over four years, particularly through the winter months.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society published a practical guide on vitamin D and bone health in children and young people was published in December 2018, authored by paediatricians Dr Paul Arundel and Professor Nick Shaw.

This guide is based on current evidence and covers topics including:

  1. the role of vitamin D in children and young people
  2. advice on supplementation
  3. how vitamin D status should be assessed and who should be tested
  4. the treatment of vitamin D deficiency.

There is more information about our work on nutritional rickets (a rare outcome of vitamin D deficiency) available through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit.

There is more information for the public about vitamin D guidelines and supplements available on the NHS website. This includes information on the Healthy Start Scheme for low income families.