Iron is one of the nutrients required for the growth and development of the human body. The first five years after birth laid the foundation for all aspects of a child’s development. Many children develop iron deficiency during this critical period. But why does iron deficiency occur and what kinds of children are more likely to have this problem? How do you know if your child is suffering from this problem? Today’s article is to give details about the symptoms and remedies of iron deficiency in the babies body.
Why is iron important for children? |Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia in babies
Iron plays a key role in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood. This hemoglobin helps transport oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. It stores oxygen in the muscles of the body and subsequently helps to keep the cells in motion. Iron is also essential for the neurological and mental development of the growing child. Iron deficiency disease occurs when the child’s body has less iron than it needs. Anemia is one of the main diseases caused by iron deficiency. Anemia caused by a lack of iron is called iron deficiency anemia.
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Those at risk for iron deficiency
- Babies who are born untimely or with low birth weight
- If the child is given cow’s or goat’s milk before the age of one year
- Do not give iron-rich foods to breastfed babies after 6 months of age
- If babies are given process milk
- If children are regularly fed iron-free foods such as semolina, barley, rice flour, canned baby food, etc.
- Children who suffer from chronic diarrhea or worm infections
- Children who are overweight
- If the mother does not eat iron-rich foods while the baby is in the womb, the baby is born with iron deficiency.
How to understand if there is a lack of iron in the child’s body? Symptoms of iron deficiency in babies
Even a small amount of iron deficiency can interfere with a child’s normal daily activities. In most cases, symptoms do not appear until iron deficiency anemia develops.
- Fatigue, lethargy and loss of appetite occur
- Gasps with little effort
- Hands and feet are often cold
- The skin of the body becomes pale
- Chest pain, rapid breathing or rapid heartbeat
- Sores appear on the tongue
- Fingernails and toenails become brittle
Preventive measures of iron deficiency in babies
If process milk or colostrum is to be given to the baby, care should be taken to ensure that it is rich in iron. And if the child drinks only breast milk, then the mother eats iron-rich foods to meet the child’s needs to a large extent. Vitamin and iron supplements ought to run as per doctor’s recommendation just in case of breastfed babies. Babies born before the completion of eight months in the womb are called premature babies. Because vitamin C helps the body absorbs iron. Besides, after the age of two years, the child should be given deworming medicine to keep the child free from worms.
Foods to compensate for iron deficiency in the child’s body
Foods like meat and poultry
Such foods are rich in iron. These foods are important for iron deficiency in children. All fatty parts must be removed before cooking such food. It should be cooked very well, so that the baby can digest it easily. These babies can be given iron supplements along with breast milk from the second week of birth. This supplement can be given up to one year of age. But must consult a doctor before has given up to supplement a child.
From the age of six months, the baby should be given additional food along with breast milk and care should be taken to ensure that it is rich in iron. It should be ensured that there is sufficient amount of vitamin C in the child’s daily diet.
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The egg yolk is a food rich in high levels of iron and protein. It also contains many other nutrients. If the child does not want to eat the yolk, custard or pudding can be made and fed.
Red rice can be fed to the child. It contains not only iron, but also calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of iron. Potatoes can be boiled and mashed by hand and fed to the baby.
Sea food or different types of sea fish
These foods are also helpful for the baby to meet iron deficiency. However, many children may be allergic to sea fish, so it should be noted.
Nuts and seeds
A variety of nuts, dry seeds like sweet pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds etc. are rich in iron.
Various green leafy vegetables, especially spinach, broccoli etc. are rich in iron. Tomatoes can also be kept in the diet. Apart from tomato salad, homemade soup or sauce can also be given to the child.
It is important to ensure that the baby is getting the right amount of iron right from birth. Infants should be introduced to foods that provide iron as they age, in addition to mother’s breast milk until six months of age.
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