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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 a 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.
My child age is 15 month year old now he have not a single teeth born and now before 2 days he vomiting when we are giving some food to eat and loss potty 3 times in a day whats the problem he have and what type of remedy we will take or medicine.
My 7 Year son hv hypertension prlm 170/100, 3 Years ago he hv left kidney renal artery stenosis so we operate and remove kidney its function is only 21% After operation hiis bp goes normal. 3 year he does not face any prlm before 3 Month ago we shifted from kolhapur to mumbai for job purpose and my son bp found become high. His all blood, scan. 2decho. Colordroper, right kidney function is 100% All reports are normal. We does not found hiis high bp cause. Doctor says its may be genetic. Can climate affected bp?
My son is suffering from typhoid. Its been 17 days he suffers a fever of 102 - 104 three times a day. Have consulted the doctors but didn't find any cure for my son. Is there any medicine available in the market so that it could stop the daily suffering of my son? My son is 3 years old.
My son is suffering from cough and throat infections and due to that he's having pain in his left ear. What should I do in this condition?
My kids is of age 2, had cough and cold for last 10 days, and then now getting fever like once in a day. Fever is not continues, but getting fever in the evening or night time for one or two hours. The cough and cold is subsided now after we consulted pediatrician. He is active and having all kind of food in the day time. Our worry is, why he is getting fever some time, even though its not continues.
Children with constitutional growth delay (CGD), the most common cause of short stature and pubertal delay, typically have retarded linear growth within the first 3 years of life. In this variant of normal growth, linear growth velocity and weight gain slows beginning as young as age 3-6 months, resulting in downward crossing of growth percentiles, which often continues until age 2-3 years. At that time, growth resumes at a normal rate, and these children grow either along the lower growth percentiles or beneath the curve but parallel to normal children.
At the expected time of puberty, the height of children with constitutional growth delay begins to drift further from the growth curve because of delay in the onset of the pubertal growth spurt. Catch-up growth, onset of puberty, and pubertal growth spurt occur later than average, resulting in normal adult stature and sexual development. Although constitutional growth delay is a variant of normal growth rather than a disorder, delays in growth and sexual development may contribute to psychological difficulties, warranting treatment for some individuals. Studies have suggested that referral bias is largely responsible for the impression that normal short stature per se is a cause of psycho-social problems; non referred children with short stature do not differ from those with more normal stature in school performance or socialization. A recent study determined that constitutional growth delay was the most common cause of short stature in children.