How to prevent and treat anemia in children. Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells, as indicated by low levels of healthy hemoglobin. Normal hemoglobin levels in children is lower than the level of hemoglobin in adults. Newborns have a normal hemoglobin 170-200 g / l. After birth, the hemoglobin concentration dropped dramatically so that by the age of 2-3 months hemoglobin level ranged from 110-120 g / l. This range continues to survive until school age, which increased to 130 g/l.
Anemia can inhibit the growth and development of children who have serious consequences in the long run. Some of the children affected by anemia, which causes loss of 5 to 15 IQ points, poor school performance and future potential losses. Anemia in children is caused by the same factors with anemia in adults. However, the cause of anemia in children also has its own peculiarities.
Specific types of anemia called hemolytic anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells and bone marrow prematurely can not meet the body’s demand for new cells. The general form of hemolytic anemia that is genetic is sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, and glucose dehydrogenase deficiency-6-phosphate. The other type is called aplastic anemia is caused by a blood disorder where the bone marrow does not make new blood cells in sufficient quantities.
The cause of anemia in children
- Iron deficiency; Iron deficiency is the leading cause of anemia in children. Actually, if the child gets enough nutritious food, they are much less likely to experience iron deficiency. However, many of the children of the poor families who have less nutritious foods so that have anemia and other symptoms of malnutrition. Children from the families are able can develop anemia if have an eating disorder or unbalanced eating pattern.
- Parasites; Children can suffer from anemia due to intestinal worms. Child’s diet may be normal, but the absorption of nutrients disrupted as appropriate worms in his stomach.
- Menstruation; Anemia may occur in adolescent girls who experience heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.
- Infection; Certain infections can interfere with digestion and interfere with the production of red blood cells.
- Kidney disease; Anemia can be an early sign of kidney disorders in children.
Symptoms of anemia in children
Mild and moderate anemia often cause no symptoms and only known from a blood test. Prolonged anemia may only provide subtle symptoms such as weak and pale. When anemia formed gradually, the child can have a very low hemoglobin levels but show no obvious symptoms because the body has adapted.
Children with severe anemia may have additional signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and swelling in the hands and feet.
Children who are iron deficiency due to malnutrition can eat strange objects like grass, dirt, flowers and leaves. This behavior is called “pica” and not dangerous unless your child is eating something poisonous. Typically “pica” stop after the anemia is treated and the child grows larger.
Tips to prevent anemia in children
- Keep giving milk until at least the child was 12 months (ideally up to 2 years). Breastfeeding mothers are advised to consume enough food iron.
- If your child is already getting extra food, try adding cereal, spinach, kale, and other sources of iron in the diet of a given solid.
- Choose milk fortified with iron.
- Make sure your child has a bigger balanced diet with foods that contain iron. Egg yolks, red meat, potatoes, tomatoes, liver and vegetables are natural foods rich in iron.
- Teach your children clean living habits so avoid infectious diseases and parasitic.
How to treat anemia in children
If the child looks pale, weak, fatigue and other symptoms of anemia, you should be checked by a doctor. Anemia caused by iron deficiency is very easy to care. With iron supplementation will increase the hemoglobin in a few weeks. Treatment of anemia due to other causes, the cause must be removed so that the effect of permanent recovery.