In a bid to ensure that children get enough vitamin D, the state education department has asked schools to encourage students to go out in the morning sun.
The human body creates vitamin D when the skin is exposed to ultraviolet B sunlight which is available early in the morning.
In a recent circular, the department asked schools to ensure that students are made aware of the advantages of being in the sun during the early hours.
“Awareness can be created about the advantages of vitamin D. They should be allowed to go out and play during the early hours as it will give them exposure to the sun. This will ensure that they get the requisite supply of Vitamin D,” the circular reads.
The circular was issued in line with a Central government initiative that aims to address the issue of vitamin D deficiency in school children.
“During the growth phase, school children are susceptible to bone-deforming effects of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, causing rickets,” states the letter issued by the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Teachers said that while the initiative is a welcome move, it might be difficult to implement in some urban schools.
“Many schools in cities don’t have playgrounds, and kids have to often play indoors. Taking them out is not a possible solution as most of these schools are in highly-populated areas,” said the principal of a civic body school in Mumbai.
Experts say that Vitamin D deficiency is common among those with darker skin as they tend to have higher amounts of the pigment melanin which acts as a natural sunscreen.
This makes it necessary to spend more time in the sun for the body to create the required amount of Vitamin D.
First Published: Aug 29, 2019 23:52 IST