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Preventing Anemia

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 22-01-2007

Currently, there is no way to prevent anemia due to genetic defects affecting the production of RBCs or hemoglobin. And preventing anemia depends on its cause.


 


However, as a father, you can take steps to help prevent iron deficiency, the most common form of anemia. Before following any of these suggestions, be sure to talk them over with your children’s doctor:



  • Regulating cow’s milk consumption. During the first 6 months of life, babies are usually protected against developing iron deficiency by the stores of iron built up in their bodies pre-birth. But after month 6, as infants continue to grow, they often don’t get enough iron through breast milk alone or regular cow’s milk (which contains less iron than fortified infant formula).
    Regular cow’s milk can also cause some infants to lose iron from their intestines, and drinking lots of it can make an infant less interested in eating other foods that are better sources of iron. For these reasons, regular cow’s milk is not recommended for children until they reach 1 year of age and are eating an iron-rich diet. In addition, your child should not drink more than 24-32 ounces (709-946 ml) of milk each day. If you can’t get your child to eat more iron-rich foods, speak with your child’s doctor about giving your child an iron supplement.

  • Enhancing Iron-fortified cereal and formula in their diet: These products can help ensure that your baby is getting enough iron, especially during the transition from breast milk or formula to solid foods

  • Maintaining a well-balanced diet: Make sure that your children or teens regularly eat foods that contain iron. Good choices include iron-fortified grains and cereals, red meat, egg yolks, leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables and fruits, potato skins, tomatoes, molasses, and raisins. If your children are vegetarians, you’ll need to make an extra effort to ensure sufficient iron sources because iron found in meat, poultry, and fish is more easily absorbed than iron found in plant-based and iron-fortified foods. Also, be aware that certain food combinations can inhibit or promote absorption of iron. For example, drinking coffee or tea (including iced tea) with a meal can significantly lower the amount of iron absorbed. On the other hand, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.