Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children

Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children

  Autor NN Team Data: 18.03.2009

Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children
Prevention anemia iron deficiency

If your baby looks pale and tired, is nervous, without appetite, with sensitive nails and a rapid heartbeat, it's possible to suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Also, it is possible for the infant to have anemia without any symptom. 
What is anemia and how does it occur? If a child has anemia, it means that the red blood cells don't transport enough oxygen to the cells and tissues. The anemia may have different causes, but the iron lack is the most frequent. 
The human body needs iron in order to produce hemoglobin, a protein contained in the blood cells, which transport the oxygen to the cells. If it doesn't receive iron, the organism won't produce enough hemoglobin, therefore the blood will contain less blood cells, and the existent ones will be smaller. Thus, the body tissues don't receive enough oxygen. The anemia occurs in children most often, as they need much iron during their growth and they don't receive it all the time. The iron deficiency has more possible causes. It could be that the little one doesn't receive enough iron through feeding, or that the iron he receives is not absorbed efficiently. 
During the last month of pregnancy, the fetus body accumulated iron supplies which last until the age of six months. That's why, the premature babies who didn't have time to accumulate the necessary iron, are exposed to a bigger risk of developing anemia. Their iron supply could last up to 2- 3 months of age or even less. 
Babies who receive cow milk under the age of 1 year, are in danger as the cow milk is low in iron and might prevent the absorption of iron coming from other sources. The easiest way to absorb iron is mother milk, so the babies who were born on time and breastfed, shouldn't have problems during the 4-6 months of age. After this, when the food is varied, the baby will receive less mother milk, so the solid food should contain iron too. If you cannot breastfeed, the powder milk formula should contain iron too. 

How do we prevent children anemia? 

In prematures, malnourished babies, twins, newborns with health problems, the iron is administered starting with the 6-8 weeks of life. Usually, 1-2 mg of iron are administered for each kilogram of body weight, but only with the approval of the pediatrician or neonatologist. The treatment must be administered up to one year of age. 

At babies born in time, with normal weight and without health issues, the same quantity of iron, 1-2 mg/kilogram maybe administered every day, for three months, with the doctor's approval. Until the age of one year, the child receives only mother milk or special formula and never cow milk. When he starts eating solid food, the baby should receive foods which are rich in iron, especially babies food enriched with iron, and then low fat chicken meat, vegetables with green leaves, egg yolk, legumes. The babies diet should not lack fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C, which help the iron absorption. Warning! Before giving iron supplements to your baby, ask for a doctor's advice! Too much iron might cause problems. 

Read the English version of this article: Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children