Advice for pharmacists and pharmacy assistants

Parents will often seek advice in pharmacy, particularly when it concerns their children. Our aim is to provide advice and tips that will give you confidence and accurate knowledge when communicating with customers about childrens multivitamins.

Giving advice to parents about children's vitamins

Welcome to the Children’s pharmacy training module from Boston Healthcare Limited. This section will provide you with useful information on essential vitamins and allergies, the benefits on giving a vitamin to babies, infants and children and the latest guidelines.

It will focus on customers, those people you meet every day. As a pharmacy you are positioned well to take ownership of this key OTC category and give your customers the best in customer care when choosing the right vitamin for babies, infants and children.

Remember your customers rely on you for meaningful advice something they cannot gain outside of pharmacy when shopping for OTC brands - we want to make you confident to help them and this module will take you there.

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Advice in pharmacy... The role you play.

As a pharmacist or a pharmacy assistant you have opportunities every day to interface with your customers and provide informed advice and choice – the opportunity to make a difference.

Not every time will a customer ask for advice – they may spend time choosing a product a signal that they are unsure or is it the “right product for me or a member of the family” – this is your opportunity to intervene.

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What do parents need to know about Vitamin D3 and its importance?

The average toddler is only getting approximately 27% of their required Vitamin D from their intake of foods, with fewer than 1 in 10 taking any kind of vitamin supplement. This is a concern as Vitamin D has a crucial role to play in bone development and calcium absorption, without which bones will not develop correctly, become brittle and in severe cases cause rickets. The Department of Health (DoH) recommends that all children between the ages of 6 month and 5 years receive a daily supplement including at least 200iu of vitamin D.

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Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is now high on the agenda as the once eradicated disease rickets has returned to the UK, as stated by Dame Sally Davies England’s Chief Medical Officer “Vitamin D deficiency is not just about poverty”, but includes children with developmental issues due to being born prematurely, those from ethnic minorities as well as children being “covered up” to protect them from the sun, thereby missing out on the benefits it provides.

Children can become deficient in Vitamin D if they do not absorb enough from food, or their exposure to sunlight is limited. In children vitamin D deficiency can in some cases result in the disease known as rickets, where the bones become soft and bend. Although still a rare disease it still can occur today through vitamin D deficiency.

It is claimed that potentially up to 25% of children in the UK are vitamin D deficient, which can directly be related to the increase in the disease known as rickets.

As part of a healthy diet the use of vitamin D or a multivitamin containing vitamin D will help provide the additional boost that children require.

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How to engage with your customers.

What is Vitamin D3 good for?

Vitamin D is a food supplement that helps provide helps develop healthy bones and teeth.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D also sometimes called the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is produced through exposure to sunlight, which in the UK can be lower than required due to winter months delivering a reduced dose.

What age can I start giving Vitamin D?

You can give Vitamin D as a supplement from 6 months of age.

What dosage should I give?

From 6 months a 200iu supplement is sufficient.

Are there any precautions I should take?

If there is a history of Peanut Allergy, you should always check the ingredient content. With DaliVit D3 it is peanut free. You may also want to check with your doctor first.

Can I add it to drinks or food?

Vitamin D from DaliVit can be added to drinks and solids as a supplement.

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Vitamin D - The Facts.

What you need to know.
  • Only a limited amount of Vitamin D is found naturally in food stuff. Therefore it is very difficult for diet alone to provide all the Vitamin D a toddler requires daily.
  • Liver, oily fish and egg yolks are Vitamin D rich foods and should be included in the diet every week. Not the foods of choice for toddlers though!
  • Fortified food and drinks can contain Vitamin D included but not all.
  • Margarine, breakfast cereals and dairy products tend to have Vitamin D added, but not in every case so it is important to check the label.
Vitamin D and sunlight
  • The body produces Vitamin D through interaction with sunlight on our skin, which earns it the name of “The sunshine vitamin”.
  • With the UK sunlight being an unreliable source of Vitamin D at least during the months of October through to April, the required levels are reduced.
  • Asian and Afro-Caribbean are in most cases more vulnerable to Vitamin D deficiency due to a higher level of Melanin in the skin.
  • When in the sun it is always important to wear a sunscreen to avoid sun burn and the risk of skin cancer, however a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure before taking the normal protective steps – has been recommended by many organisations to produce vitamin D**. (** BDA, Cancer Research, Diabetes UK, The National Heart Foundation).
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Vitamin D as a food supplement.

  • Children require sufficient vitamins and minerals in order to ensure healthy growth and development during the first five years. Known as the cognitive period.
  • During this early period toddlers have a high nutritional requirement of Vitamin D. It is difficult in a diet alone therefore a Vitamin D food supplement can assist in achieving the balance.
  • As a Pharmacy you are a good position to advise parents or carers about the importance of Vitamin D and the benefits of providing a supplement.
  • There are other issues that you can assist with when asked - allergies – suitable for vegetarians and vegans – can be added to drinks and solids.
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DaliVit Vitamin D3 the sunshine vitamin for babies and toddlers.

From the makers of DaliVit Multivitamins the latest addition is our DaliVit D3 Pump Dispenser.

  • Only available through Pharmacy.
  • Does not contain Peanut Oil – (Arachis Oil).
  • Suitable for vegetarians.
  • No added colours.
  • Easy to administer pump dispenser, making it fast and hygienic to use.
  • Can be administered on a spoon or added to food and drinks.
  • Supported by a major media campaign directing the consumer to you – Pharmacy.
  • Point of Sale and consumer leaflets available on request.

From Boston Healthcare the manufacturers of DaliVit the Pharmacy Only Brand. Vitamin D Vitamin D only occurs naturally in a few foods, such as oily fish and eggs. It is also added to some foods such as fat spreads and breakfast cereals. The best source of vitamin D is summer sunlight on their skin. However, it’s sensible to keep your child’s skin safe in the sun. Children shouldn’t be out too long in the sun in hot weather. Remember to cover up or protect their skin before it turns red or burns.

It's important that children still receive vitamin drops, even if they get out in the sun. 

All babies and young children aged six months to five years should take a daily supplement containing vitamin D in the form of vitamin drops. However, babies who are fed infant formula will not need vitamin drops until they are receiving less than 500ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day, as these products are fortified with vitamin D. If you are breastfeeding your baby and you didn’t take vitamin D supplements throughout pregnancy, your health visitor may advise you to give your baby vitamin drops containing vitamin D from the age of one month.

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