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'. Credit: 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 aconsultant 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.

Paediatrician Alastair Sutcliffe