Information for families about accessing Healthy Start vitamins during Covid-19
Healthy Start vitamins for women, pregnant women, and women with a child under 12 months include: vitamin D, folic acid and vitamin D. Healthy Start vitamins for children from birth to 4 years include: vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin D.
Vitamin D (sometimes called the sunshine vitamin), is well known for helping to protect our bones, teeth and muscles. It also plays an important role in our immunity, mental health and reducing inflammation in the body, amongst many other protective functions. Find out more about vitamin D on the NHS website.
Although you’ll get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy, balanced diet, there are limited foods that contain vitamin D. These include oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines), red meat, egg yolks, mushrooms left in the sun and fortified foods (such as fat, spreads and some breakfast cereal), and as such we can only obtain 10% of our requirements from food sources.
The remaining 90% of our requirement is expected to be made by our bodies when our skin is exposed to the right type of sun rays. However, here in the North of England we don't get enough of this type of sunshine and as we are only able to consume 10% of our needs via our food, it is advised that everyone should take a daily Vitamin D supplement all year round.
How much Vitamin D should I take/give to my child?
The Department of Health recommends that:
pregnant women should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D3 every day
- breastfeeding women should take 10 micrograms of vitamin D3 every day
- from birth, all breastfed babies should be given 8.5 to 10 micrograms of vitamin D3 every day. If a breastfed baby is supplemented with first infant formula and is receiving more than 500ml (about a pint) per day, they do not need a supplement because formula is already fortified with vitamin D
- from 6 months of age and until they are five years of age, all babies/children should be given daily vitamin A, C and D supplements (unless they're having 500ml or more of first infant formula each day).
Where can I get supplements from?
- You can buy vitamins from your local pharmacy or supermarket. Check with the pharmacist or read the packaging to ensure that:
- These do not contain vitamin A if you are buying these for a pregnant woman
- These have appropriate amounts of Vitamin D as per the recommendations
- These meet the needs of those with a restricted diet such as allergy.
2. Under the national Healthy Start scheme, pregnant women, women with a child under 12 months old and children aged up to four years who are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers, are also entitled to free Healthy Start vitamins which contain the correct vitamins at the correct doses. You can check your eligibility for the Healthy Start Scheme here.
- Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops are vegetarian and free from milk, egg, gluten, soya and peanut residues.
- Healthy Start women’s vitamin tablets are vegetarian and free from wheat, gluten, fish, egg, salt, colours, flavours or preservatives.
3. If you live in Blackburn with Darwen, a local scheme provides free Healthy Start vitamins to all children under 5 years of age, all pregnant women and all women for one year after giving birth, regardless of whether you qualify for Healthy Start vouchers.
Due to changes in the way services are being delivered during Covid-19, there may be changes to the ways you can get your supply of Healthy Start vitamins.
Here is some information for each area which explains how to access them.
Via children’s centres during reduced opening hours.
Audley Children's Centre, Neighbourhood Centre/Pringle Street, Blackburn BB1 1SF.
Wednesday 9am - 1pm.
Darwen Children's Centre, Lord Street, Darwen BB3 0HD.
Tuesday 9am - 1pm.
Thursday 1pm - 4pm.
Hancock Street Children's Centre, Hancock Street, Blackburn BB2 2LZ.
Friday 9am - 1pm.
Highercroft Children's Centre, Fishmoor Drive, Blackburn BB2 3UY.
Tuesday 1pm - 4pm.
Little Harwood Children’s Centre, Robinson Street, Blackburn BB1 5PE.
Monday 9am - 1pm.
Friday 1pm - 4pm.
Livesey Children’s Centre, Andrew Close, Blackburn BB2 4NU.
Tuesday 1pm - 4pm.
Shadsworth Children’s Centre, 58 Skye Crescent, Blackburn BB1 2JN.
Monday 9am - 1pm.
Wensley Fold Children’s Centre, Carnarvon Road, Blackburn BB2 6NL.
Thursday 1pm - 4pm.
Your health visitor will check with you at every routine contact if you need Healthy Start vitamins, and can arrange for a Family Support Worker from the Children’s Centre service to bring these to your house.
Please note: these session times are subject to change dependent on staffing and on the changing covid risk rating for Lancashire, so it is strongly advised that families contact the centre during the session they want to attend to check it is running.
Burnley Wood Children and Family Wellbeing Service, 33 Brunswick Street, BB11 3NY.
Monday and Tuesday 9am - 12pm.
Please phone Elaine Jones on 01282 470707 before attending.
Duke Street Children and Family Wellbeing Service, Duke Street, Chorley, PR7 3DU.
Monday 9am - 12pm.
Contact: Alison Miller 01257 516316.
Fylde children and Family Wellbeing Service, Chapel Walk, off Royal Ave, Kirkham, PR4 2TA.
Monday 10am - 11am.
Contact: Rachel Jackson 01772 535135
The Park Child and Family Wellbeing Centre, Norfolk Grove, Church, Accrington, BB5 4RY.
Wednesday 9.30am - 11.15am.
Contact: Anne Burns 01254 387757.
Lune Park Neighbourhood Centre, Rylands Park, Owen Road, Lancaster, LA1 2LN.
Tuesday and Wednesday 9am - 12pm.
Contact: Steve Pedder or Andrea Teasdale 01524 581280.
Whitefield Children and Family Wellbeing Service, Maurice Street Nelson, BB9 7HS.
Monday 9.30am - 11.30am.
Contact: Lisa Waddington 01282 470277.
Ribbleton Children and Family Service, Ribbleton Hall Drive, Ribbleton, Preston, PR2 6EE.
Wednesday 1pm - 3pm.
Contact: Gemma Waterhouse 01772 539444.
Clitheroe Children and Family Wellbeing Service, Wesleyan Row, Parson Lane, Clitheroe, BB7 2JY.
Wednesday 1pm - 4pm.
Contact: Annie Scott or Diane Townend 01200 420460.
Bacup Children and Family Wellbeing Service, The Maden Centre, Rochdale Road, Bacup, OL13 9NZ.
Wednesday 9.30am - 4.30pm.
Please call Janet Whittaker on 01706 237780 to arrange an appointment.
West Paddock Neighbourhood Centre, West Paddock, Leyland, Preston, PR25 1BX.
Friday 10am - 12pm.
Contact: Helen Gardener 01772 532930.
Southway Neighbourhood Centre, Southway, Skelmersdale, WN8 6NL.
Wednesday 9am - 12pm.
Contact: Neil Shearer 01695 651350.
Fleetwood Children and Family Wellbeing Service, Milton Street, Fleetwood, FY7 6QW.
Tuesday 10am - 12pm.
Friday 9am - 12pm.
Contact: Kirsty May 01253 741117.
Your health visitor will check with you at every routine contact if you need Healthy Start vitamins. They will carry supplies with them to give these to you directly.
If you don’t have a contact with your health visitor booked in, please ring: