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Article Home Children's Health Iron deficiency anemia in children

Iron deficiency anemia in children

Iron deficiency anemia is decrease in number of redness due to lack of iron. It most commonly occurs in the age of 9-24 months and it is more common in growth spurt in adolescence. It can be treated by iron supplemnts, giving iron rich foods to the child

Iron deficiency anemia in children

The common causes for iron deficiency anemia in children are poor intake of iron in intake and drinking more of cow’s milk. The cow’s milk has less content of iron. It can also occur due to lead poisoning and due to slow bleeding as in hook worm infestations, frequent infections.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia:

  • Blue-tinged or pale white of eyes.
  • Blood in stools.
  • Brittle nails.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Irritability.
  • Pale skin.
  • Breathlessness (shortness of breath).
  • Pica, unusual cravings for non edible items like mud.
  • Weakness.

Tests to diagnosis include blood tests like:

Treatment of iron deficiency anemia:

  • Iron supplements either in the form of tablet or syrups.
  • Milk and antacids will interfere in iron absorption and hence should be avoided.
  • Iron rich foods are advised.

List of iron rich foods:

  • Apricots, oatmeal, raisins, eggs, fish, chicken, soya beans, jaggrey,spinach.
  • Best sources of iron include:
  • Baby formula with iron.
  • Breast milk.
  • Infant cereals and other iron-fortified cereals.
  • Liver

Complications of iron deficiency:

  • It can affect school performance.
  • Decreased attention span.
  • Reduced alertness.
  • Learning difficulties.

Prevention of iron deficiency anemia in children:

  • Exclusive breast feeding for the first 4 to 6 months of life followed by timely introducing the semisolids.
  • Cooking the food in iron pots/vessels.
  • Increase intake of fruits, green vegetables and vitamin C improves the iron absorption. Jaggery, spinach and pulses are good sources of iron.
  • Processes like germination (sprouting of pulses) and fermentation (idli, dhokla) increase the vitamin C contents which increases the absorption of iron from the diet.
  • Low birth weight babies, preterms, adolescent girls will need additional iron. Hence iron therapy is administered for these individuals.