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Iron is an essential nutrient and mineral that is required by adults and children alike. Iron helps move oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and helps muscles store and use oxygen. It is especially important for children because it aids development and prevents anaemia. Untreated iron deficiency in children can cause physical and mental delays. It can lead to less healthy red blood cells in the child's blood stream which will cause a delay in the growth of physical and mental faculties.
Risk factors for iron deficiency in children
Infants and children at highest risk of iron deficiency include:
- Babies who are born prematurely or have a low birth weight
- Babies who drink cow's milk before age 1
- Breast-fed babies who aren't given complementary foods containing iron after age 6 months
- Babies who drink formula that isn't fortified with iron
- Children ages 1 to 5 who drink more than 24 ounces (710 milliliters) of cow's milk, goat's milk or soy milk a day
- Children who have certain health conditions, such as chronic infections or restricted diets
- Children ages 1 to 5 who have been exposed to lead
- Adolescent girls also are at higher risk of iron deficiency because their bodies lose iron during menstruation.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia
The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia in children may include:
- Pale skin
- Fatigue or weakness
- Slow cognitive and social development
- Inflammation of the tongue
- Difficulty maintaining body temperature
- Increased likelihood of infections
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or pure starch
Prevent iron deficiency in children
Take steps to prevent iron deficiency in your child by paying attention to his or her diet. For example:
- Breast-feed or use iron-fortified formula. Breast-feeding until your child is age 1 is recommended. If you don't breast-feed, use iron-fortified infant formula.
- Encourage a balanced diet. When you begin serving your baby solids, typically between ages 4 months and 6 months, feed him or her foods with added iron, such as iron-fortified baby cereal. For older children, good sources of iron include red meat, chicken, fish, beans and dark green leafy vegetables. Between ages 1 and 5, don't allow your child to drink more than 24 ounces (710 milliliters) of milk a day.
- Enhance absorption. Vitamin C helps promote the absorption of dietary iron. You can help your child absorb iron by offering foods rich in vitamin C, such as melon, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes and potatoes.
- Consider iron supplements. If your baby was born prematurely or with a low birth weight or you're breast-feeding a baby older than 4 months and he or she isn't eating two or more servings a day of iron-rich foods, talk to your child's doctor about oral iron supplements.
Make sure that you watch out for the tell tale signs of iron deficiency and take the necessary precautions to avoid the same. If you wish to discuss about any specific child related problem, you can consult a specilized pediatrician and ask a free question.
Is it possible for a child of age 5 years and 4 months to have 'Fibrile Convulsion Plus' symptoms without running a high fever?
My one year son is having severe lose motion since three Days and even after consulting doctor no change. Doctor initially games medicine ONSTAL.
My sister's new born baby doesn't respond her voice and any other noise. He was an 10 days old baby. Although hearing test is finished at hospital since 3 days old. According to test, result is good. But my sister worry why baby doesn't respond till now. How should we do?
2 weeks back my baby was doing watery stools 10 - 15 times. We have shown her to pediatrician She has given her walamycin, enterogermina, gastric, zinc drops but still she is doing 6 -7 soft stools not watery per day. Pediatrician recommended to stop breastfeeding completely because according to her baby has milk indigestion and she recommended lactose free milk isomil but baby is not taking formula milk accept mothers milk. So please suggest.
Is it fine to feed a 14 month baby with butter, ghee in the food? should the sweet intake be restricted too, though my baby enjoys sweet preparations.
Giving antibiotic for any kind to 2 month old baby reduce development of immune system or effect immune system of baby. Can cough & cold get cured by its own without giving any medicine to baby.
My daughter is suffering with amleopia ie, lazy eyes, and is on treatment of putting patches on either eyes. But it was suggested that it should be worn for 6hrs but we r able to make her wear on for 4 hrs, because of different reasons. Plz let us know would it get rectified like this ever or she has to wear it for 6hrs. My daughter is 6 years old.
There are many schedules of immunisation followed and varies from country to country, In india, we widely follow the National Immunisation Schedule.mainly in government hospitals. Many private institutions follow their own schedules.Both are effective,though the private hospitals use costly vaccines whereas the government supply is free.Depending on your purchasing power you can choose either.By and large INDIAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS the largest and most authoritative body in India . Their schedule is fair combination of both types of vaccines newer but costly and cheap ( but effective & safe ) selected appropriately.Apart from the main or essential vaccines there are some optional vaccines for diseases which are not as fatal or life threatening which are covered in national immunisation schedule. I shall explain all important schedule.
RECOMMENDED IMMUNIZATION SCHEDULE FOLLOWED IN INDIA
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Sl No. Age Disease Vaccination Remarks*
1 AT BIRTH HEPATITIS B HEP B VACCINE -I
2 AT BIRTH POLIO ORAL PV 0 DOSE
3 BIRTH TO
6 WK TUBERCULOSIS BCG
4) 4 -6 WEEKS HEPATITIS B HEP B VACCINE -II
5) 6 WEEKS } DIPHTHERIA ,PERTUSIS,
}TETANUS,POLIO DPT-I OPV -I
6) 10 WK DIPHTHERIA PERTUSIS
TETANUS POLIO HEPATITIS B DPT-II OPV-II HEP B VACCINE III*
*DELHI GOVT RECOMMENDATION
7) 14 WEEKS DIPHTHERIA PERTUSIS
TETANUS POLIO DPT-III OPV- III HEP B VACCINE IV*
*DELHI GOVT RECOMMENDATION
8) 24 WEEKS HEPATITIS B HEP B VACCINE III*
9) 9 -12MTHS }- POLIO MEASLES OPV-IV MEASLES
10) 15-18 MTHS MUMPS MEASELES RUBELLA (MMR*)
11) 18 MTHS } DIPHTHERIA PERTUSIS
} TETANUS POLIO DPT –BOOSTER I OPV –V
*RECOMMENDED BY DELHI GOVT & IAP ONLY
12) 24 MTHS TYPHOID TYPHOID*
13) 4-5 YR } DIPHTHERIA PERTUSIS
} TETANUS POLIO DPT BOOSTER – II OPV -VI
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