The most frequent type of anemia is the iron-deficit one.
It is common to find it in newborn babies and in children between 6 months and 2 years.
Due to the great growth at this time, iron reserves are not enough; as a result, children get this illness.
Female adolescents tend to get it due to menstruation and fast growth.
We must also consider the current diet of children, many times poor in meat and legumes and other foods which have high quantities of this mineral, and this increases the risk of anemia even more.
In the case of children who do not eat properly and reach undernourisment, there is not only lack of iron but also lack of other nutrients, as vitamines, calcium, proteins, etc.
That is why I advise mothers not to let children choose all their foods, but to properly guide them at home so that their nutrition is complete
Anemia is shown by low levels of red blood cells (measured by the Haematocrit and Haemoglobin), being these red blood cells more clear in color and smaller, therefore their functioning is diminished.
Breastfed babies will receive iron supplements daily, starting at about 4 to 6 months of age.
In the case of premature babies, iron shall be indicated as from 2 months of age.
Children fed with artificial milk and born on term shall receive it as from the 4th month of age.
The usage of this iron prophylaxis shall continue until 12 to 18 months, and logically, shall be supported by a diet rich in this mineral when the child starts to eat semi-solids and solids.
An anemic child is one who gets tired easily, is pale, gains little weight, and tends to get ill.
As it is shown, this kind of anemia can affect his/her life, affecting all the organs (haemoglobin transports oxigen to cells, and when it is diminished its function is incomplete).
- Breastfeed the baby as it is the ideal food (the mother's milk has less iron than artificial milks, but it has the essential characteristic of having a higher absorption, that is to say: it has less iron but it absorbs more!!; it is ideal).
- Give supplements to your child when indicated, and for the necessary period of time.
- The child diet must be complete and varied, he/she shall eat meat, vegetables, fruits, cereals, etc.
- In case of anemia the child has to receive treatment with iron in high dosis and constantly until indicated by the pediatrician (be persistent).
- Iron, in order to be absorbed better, must be taken far from meals (30 minutes before or 2 hours after) and if it is possible with orange or grapefruit juice (vitamin C increases its absorption).
- Take your child to a monthly health control during the first year of life, and, after said age and until 2 years he/she should be taken once each 3 months.
Older children must visit the pediatrician twice a year in order to have a health control.
The pediatrician is the one who will discover this kind of problems, according to the interrogatory, the medical history and the physical examination, and, if required, some kind of analysis.
Concerning your children's health the pediatrician is irreplaceable!!
Ask your pediatrician.