Anemia Causes, Signs & Symptoms & Prevention Tips
Created by Faraz Mohammad Khan Updated on Feb 22, 2021
Anemia is a very common blood disorder in which blood does not have enough number of healthy red blood cells. The most important duty of red blood cells, or hemoglobin, is to carry oxygen to every part of the body. Anemia impairs this important blood function. This may lead to your child looking pale in color and feel weak, tired and irritable.
How Anemia Diagnosed?
Your child may become anemic if following diagnosed...
- Their body is not producing enough red blood cells due to lack of iron and other nutrients in their diet
- Their body losses red blood cells due to bleeding. Blood loss can be obvious like during menstrual cycle or long term low grade like bleeding in stool
- Their body is destroying red blood cells, due to an underlying illness or an inherited red blood cell disorder
Common Signs & Symptoms of Anemia
- Pale, grey skin, nail beds and lining of eyelids may look less pinkish than normal
- Tiring easily
- Mild weakness
In Acute Anemia, Children May Exhibit Additional Signs Like-
- Swollen hands and feet
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
If your child exhibits any of the above symptoms, it’s advisable to visit a pediatrician. Diagnosing Anemia is fairly easy and in most cases, a simple blood count can diagnose it. Rapid growth is a major cause of the condition. Therefore, the first year of life (infants) and adolescence (children) are two age groups most susceptible to Anemia.
Anemia Prevention & Treatment
Although some kinds of Anemia cannot be prevented (inherited blood disorders), iron deficiency and other nutritional Anemia can be prevented by ensuring a well-balanced nutritious diet for your child. Below are a few guidelines that can help to prevent Anemia.
- Do not give cow milk to your infant baby
- In case of breastfeeding, you baby has an adequate amount of iron at least up to 4 months of age. When starting solid foods, give them food with higher iron content
- In case you formula-feed your baby, give them baby formula with added iron
- Do not give more than 2 cups of cow milk to older children
- Cow milk is very low in iron and makes children feel full. This can led to decrease in amount of other food they eat
- Give older children a well-balanced diet with rich iron content
- Grains and cereals are usually a good source of iron. Egg yolk, meat, potatoes, beans and raisins, bananas, apples and beetroot are recommended
- Encourage children to drink citrus juices
- Citrus juices contain vitamin C which helps the body in absorbing iron
In case you observe any of the symptoms of Anemia, consult your paediatrician. With proper treatment, your child's Anemia can be treated quickly and easily.
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