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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.
Hello My 15 days old baby is on breast feed but didn't pass out potty daily. Is it normal? If yes so how many days are normal.
It has been seen that children absolutely resist taking medicines, especially the conventional kind that may not agree with their sweet craving taste buds. Yet, the sweet pellets of Homeopathic medicines appeal to many children. Also, these drugs are safe and they make use of the body’s defences when it comes to fighting and treating ailments. Read on to know more about improving your child’s health with the help of homeopathy.
Treating Infant Problems: Homeopathic drugs are known to treat a number of infant related ailments like teething and the aches and pains caused by the same, as well as colic and other ailments like ear ache. These drugs are usually quick and effective when it comes to removing the discomfort that the child may be experiencing which can keep the child from turning cranky. These medicines can be used to treat acute and sudden problems as well as long term issues that seem to reoccur often.
Side Effects: One of the most common benefits of Homeopathic drugs includes the lack of side effects for children and adults alike. This quality is especially helpful for children. Let us understand why. The side effects of many conventional medicines may have a direct or indirect bearing on the growth as well as the development of the child’s immunity. With Homeopathy, the child is at no such risk. With its complete lack of side effects, these kinds of medicines ensure that the child’s growth, development and immunity do not suffer. In fact, these medicines are completely safe and are known to use resources from within the body rather than impairing such resources with an intense effect.
Response: Children are known to respond to very well to Homeopathic remedies because their bodies are still not used to the intensity of conventional medication, which makes them more receptive in general.
Various Homeopathic Medicines for Children: Aconite is one of the most widely used Homeopathic drugs that is used for treating sudden ailments like fever, fright, shock and cough or cold, as well. Arnica can also be used for various injuries. Belladona is best used for fever and persistent crying or fretfulness. Borax can be used to cure various digestive upsets. Calendula is also used to treat minor abrasions as well as sun burns as well as scalds and wounds. Chamomilla also helps in treating bedwetting problems for children. One can also use Homeopathic drugs on a regular basis once teething begins so that the child is not prone to fever and fits of crying. Also, children can be given Homeopathic drugs for deworming at least once a year. This will also help to clear out the toxins and build better appetite.