Iron Deficiency, if not corrected at an early stage of showing symptoms, maylead to significant long-term problems related to severe anemia. A lack of adequate iron intake in our day-to-day diets leads to an interruption in the proper functioning of our body’s red blood cells and haemoglobin, and disrupts an even supply of oxygen throughout our body. Resultantly, our body produces lesser haemoglobin due to a lower RBC count. Such a condition can be termed as Iron Deficiency Anemia. 

The Basics

In case of children, iron plays a crucial role in building their overall physical and cognitive development. A regular intake of iron in your child’s diet helps him/her to stay energetic, attentive and adaptive to newer learnings at a faster pace. Babies during their birth are dependent on consuming iron in the form of whole milk from their mother’s bodies; however, young children between 2-5 years tend to fall short of iron stores due to an imbalance of regular dietary routines. At this crucial stage of development, you must feed your child with adequate iron-rich foods so as to ensure that he/she is immune to iron deficiency anemia. 

If you thought that feeding your child with too much cow’s milk is a good alternative to boosting your child’s iron intake, let us keep you informed that, cow’s milk is low in iron and in fact comes across as one of the major causes ofiron deficiency anemia in children. Cow’s milk tends to fill up your child’s appetite and prevents him/her to consume a balanced proportion of other iron-rich foods. It is best to not feed toddlers with cow’s milk, and at a later stage of growth, only skimmed milk is preferred for children. 

What are the symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia?

If your child shows signs of irritability, shortness of breath, craving for unusual things such as dirt, mud, etc., low appetite, tiredness, insomnia, chest pain, muscle ache or increased infections, he/she may be suffering from an iron-deficient anemic condition. Although these are early signs of anemia in children, some of the more severe iron deficiency anemia symptoms include brittle nails, pale skin and blue-tinged, pale whites of eyes.   

How to treat iron deficiency anemia in children?

Having a healthy diet comprising of iron-rich foods is key. A daily consumption of food items rich in minerals such as apricot, chicken, fish, eggs, lentils, oatmeal, fruits, and green vegetables can help boost your child’s immunity system and build a resistance against iron deficiency. But most children tend to be picky eaters and skip consuming sufficient amount of iron-rich foods in their daily meals. In cases as these, it is best to provide your child with oral iron supplementation.  Iron supplements are the best remedy to anemia treatment. Some of the best iron supplements for kids contributes to maintaining adequate levels of iron in your child’s body, and eventually wipes out signs of anemia. However, it is best to seek medical consultation before you make a choice aiding in compliance. Cater to your child’s specific needs and pick the best-suited iron supplementation for your child. 

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