It’s winter and it’s cold and raining. Our children are out in the sun much less than in the warmer months. Levels of vitamin D go down in winter becuase the ultra violet radiation from the sun is weaker. Vitamin D forms in the skin when it is exposed to the sun. . We need Vitamin D to absorb calcium and keep bones and muscles healthy. There has been some recent research linking low levels of Vitamin D with an increase in the risk of allergies in children.
We can’t rely of food for an adequate amount of Vitamin D and sunscreen blocks the ultra violet rays that we need to form vitamin D. So children need more time in the sun on those sunny winter days than in the heat of summer. In the northern parts of Australia (Brisbane and Darwin) a few minutes each day without sunscreen is enough. In the southern states including Sydney, children need 2-3 hours per week of sun exposure to the skin in winter compared to a few minutes each day in summer.
You can see the Cancer Council’s advice about sun exposure and Vitamin D at http://www.cancer.org.au/File/Cancersmartlifestyle/Howmuchsunisenough.pdf.
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