Better skin, vision, teeth and bones for your children thanks to council freebie

The free vitamins are aimed at providing the "healthiest possible start to life" for the county's young
The free vitamins are aimed at providing the "healthiest possible start to life" for the county's young
  • Free vitamins for children aged six months to four years, new mums who are breastfeeding and mums-to-be living in Hertfordshire
  • No vouchers are needed, the tablets and drops can be collected from any of county’s 82 children’s centres – 10 of which are in Dacorum
  • Drive aimed at providing the “healthiest possible start to life” for children in county

The county council is giving away free vitamins for all pregnant women, breastfeeding mums and children aged six months to four years in a drive to promote good health.

The vitamins are available to any new mums who are breastfeeding and mums-to-be living in Hertfordshire. You do not need vouchers as the vitamin tablets and drops can be collected from any of the county’s 82 children’s centres – 10 of which are in Dacorum – in a drive that will be kind on the family coffers.

The scheme, which uses NHS Healthy Start vitamins, is a project funded by Public Health to promote healthier lifestyles to communities. Other Healthy Start services include healthy eating, cookery classes, active play and breastfeeding advice.

The giveaway could save health conscious families hundreds of pounds over the course of four years with similar vitamins costing anything from £3 to £6 in pharmacies.

Becky Mallett, a Herts mum who is 38 weeks pregnant, and her son Dexter, two, have both been taking the vitamins. Becky said she fully supports the scheme.

“I’ve tried to be really healthy during this pregnancy and make sure that Dex is eating well too. But getting these free vitamins has given me that extra peace of mind that me, Dex and bump are getting the good stuff we need.

“It’s great that I can just pick them up from my local children’s centre because it’s on my doorstep.”

Hertfordshire’s director of Public Health, Jim McManus, said a healthy start in life is one of the most important things we can give any child.

“This scheme is just one of the many ways we aim to help families do this,” he said.

“I would urge pregnant women and mums with young children to visit their children’s centre to pick up their free vitamins and find out about the range of other support available to them.”

GP Alison Jackson has backed the scheme

GP Alison Jackson has backed the scheme

The Healthy Start women’s vitamins are specifically for pregnant and breastfeeding women and contain:

Folic acid: reduces the likelihood of the baby having spina bifida, a birth defect where the spine doesn’t form properly

Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body

Vitamin D: helps the body to absorb calcium and so supports the baby’s bones to develop properly.

I would urge pregnant women and mums with young children to visit their children’s centre to pick up their free vitamins and find out about the range of other support available to them.

Jim McManus, Hertfordshire’s director of Public Health

The Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops contain:

Vitamin A: for growth, vision and healthy skin

Vitamin C: helps maintain healthy tissue in the body

Vitamin D: for strong bones and teeth.

Dr Alison Jackson, a GP, mum, and representative of East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said it makes living a healthier lifestyle easier. She said: “Whether you’re planning to start a family, already pregnant, or bringing up a young child, there’s no shortage of health advice and products targeted at women and their children. Every mum or mum-to-be wants to look forward to a healthy future, and taking these free NHS-approved vitamin supplements is one healthy choice that’s now been made even easier in Hertfordshire.”

For more information contact your nearest children’s centre or visit Herts Direct