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Toddlers and Anemia

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 22-02-2007

Anemia is a common blood disorder caused by a deficiency of red
blood cells (RBCs) and is characterized by lack of vitality. It is estimated that around 7 percent
of children in the United States experience anemia once by the age of 18 years. The most common
cause of anemia in toddlers is iron deficiency.

Iron is important in the production of
hemoglobin, which is a protein that primarily transports oxygen from the lungs to the different
parts of the body. Iron also aids different brain functions. Insufficient intake of iron leads to a
shortfall in hemoglobin production, leading to poor mental functioning and a feeling of tiredness.

Symptoms

The symptoms of anemia in babies
include the following:

  • Paleness
  • Irritability
  • Weakness• Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate• Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Dark urine

Anemic children may also show
symptoms of jaundice though several infants display symptoms of jaundice without being
anemic.

Treatment

Owing to the number of
possible causes of anemia, it is necessary to first identify the cause of anemia in your child. If
you notice any signs of anemia, immediately consult your family physician. The diagnosis of the
disease may include a blood test that measures the red blood cells in the body.

Depending on
the cause, the possible treatment options may vary and include:

  • Iron supplements
    (tablets, drops, and liquid)
  • Iron-rich diet
  • Folic acid and vitamin B12
    supplements

However, it is important to consult a doctor before you administer any
medicine or supplement to your child.For more severe forms of anemia, the treatment options may
include:

  • Blood transfusion
  • Treatment of infection causing anemia
  • Medications to maintain the level of red blood cells in the body

Disclaimer: The above information is commonsense
reflection drawn from general experience. If you are looking for expert medical advice, please
consult your doctor.