… “Everybody needs vitamins, the question is, do you need additional vitamins than what you’re (getting from) eating, and that depends on what you eat,” said Arnold Solof, a doctor with Vineland Pediatrics. “(The need for vitamins) may also depend on your age, sex, and any unusual aspects about an individual, such as an underlying health condition, or unusual activity.”
… “If they have an average lifestyle and they have a reasonably balanced diet, then they probably don’t need a (vitamin) supplement,” Solof said. “Exceptions would be infants in the first month of life who are exclusively breastfed. In those cases, the vitamin D should be supplemented.”
Still, Solof said he will often prescribe a multivitamin for children, typically because a prescription vitamin (unlike an over-the-counter brand) will contain fluoride. This is especially important for families who have water without fluoride added to it, he said.
“We frequently prescribe the vitamins as a way of delivering fluoride,” Solof said. “Because it’s typically combined with fluoride, it’s a convenient way to do it.”
… With the exception of fluoride in a prescription vitamin, there are usually no differences between over-the-counter versions and those prescribed by a doctor, unless a child needs a special combination to treat a vitamin deficiency, Solof said…