Rickets, which is caused by chronic vitamin D deficiency and can cause ‘bow legs’, is now becoming more common amongst British children. Vitamin D is produced within the body naturally when the skin is subjected to sunlight. So many hours spent by youngsters indoors in front of computer consoles and televisions can be severely detrimental to their long term health. Not just in vitamin D deficiencies but also in joint, muscle and cardio-vascular development.
Rickets is a disease normally associated with malnutrition and poverty in the Britain of a hundred or more years ago. Not with a 21st century advanced nation with ‘free’ healthcare at the point of delivery.
Sunlight is free and easily obtained throughout the year is sufficient quantities by the vast majority of children. But what is the reaction by the experts? They want to introduce vitamin D dosing into foodstuffs.
This dosing of course will cost money, which will in the end be passed on to the consumer. It will also need regulating and oversight, more expense and probably another Quango. Bear in mind that rickets was also one of the ailments the NHS was set up to help eradicate.
Another question I would ask is where do the schools fit in here? Are they in a position to spot this? Does this mean there is not enough outdoor activity in the curriculum?
A far simpler way of solving the rickets problem is to get children out and about. Parents need to turf them out of the house for a few hours in the day. But to do so they need to feel that their offspring are safe in this modern nanny state society that screams at them to protect their children from other adults, roads, conkers, climbing trees ….. . Far safer to keep them in the house where they are safe, especially if your garden is no bigger than a paper handkerchief.
The nanny state and the hysterical media has put parents and schools in a position where traditional children’s out-door activities, that are so healthy for mind and body, are on the list of dangers to be avoided.
Instead of wasting money on vitamin dosing of food, the money should be spent on more parks and children’s play areas with a warder to look out for undesirables. But to do this we would also have to overcome the ‘health and safety’ brigade who would want every park to have a first aid post, ambulance, policeman, lawyer etc on hand. We must accept that accidents happen and they happen to children too.