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Warning over rickets 'epidemic' in children from lack of sun playing video games indoors and over use of sunscreen

Children's rickets 'epidemic' through 'lack of sun'. Photo: PA

The government's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies is concerned at the rising number of children with vitamin D deficiency caused by a lack of sunlight.

It can cause of rickets, which can lead to bone pain and deformities, including bowed legs and curvature of the spine, according to the Times.

Doctors say a generation of children who are inactive spend more time playing video games indoors than playing outside.

This alongside the over use of sunscreen lotion has contributed to the increase in vitamin D deficiency.

Dame Sally Davies has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) to conduct a review of the cost­ effectiveness of giving vitamin supplements to all children under four.

One of Britain’s leading experts on vitamin D deficiency and a consultant paediatrician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), Alastair Sutcliffe says that because of a lack of sun there is an"epidemic" of rickets and in extreme case seizures.

Nothing is free but the cost of the ill­ effects of deficiency, such as rickets and anaemia, from families not providing children with these supplements is greater for the NHS.

Sunblock is so powerful, it does work but you end up with no exposure to the sun.

People are perhaps overdoing it. They are putting all of this stuff on in our climate.

The outcome is that you are blocking out sunshine and you have a secondary effect of reduced exposure to sunshine which the human race needs.

– Paediatrician Alastair Sutcliffe