Anemia is a disease in which the body's red blood cells drop below the normal level for the child's age. It can cause the child to look pale and feel irritable, tired, or weak. Although these symptoms may worry you, anemia is generally easy to treat, especially if caught early. In addition, it is necessary that parents are aware of the measures they can take to prevent this disease.
Because rapid growth is likely a cause of the disease, the first year of life and adolescence are two age groups when infants and children are most prone to anemia.
Anemia means that there are not enough red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a special pigment protein that makes it possible to transport and deliver oxygen to other cells in the body. Cells in a child's muscles and organs need oxygen to survive, and a decrease in the number of red blood cells can cause stress on the body.
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Children who lack iron in their diets may eat unusual things, such as ice, dirt, clay, and cornstarch. This behavior is known as "pica". It is not dangerous unless your child consumes something toxic like lead paint chips. The "pica" usually ends once the anemia is treated and as the child grows.
Even a low level of anemia can affect a child's energy, ability to focus, and to learn. Chronic iron deficiency anemia can lead to permanent and prolonged developmental impairment. In most cases, a simple blood count can diagnose anemia.
Iron deficiency anemia and nutritional anemia can be prevented by making sure your child eats a well-balanced diet. Talk to your doctor in the case of dietary restrictions in your home as your child may require nutritional supplements to prevent anemia.
Your pediatrician will most likely refer you to a pediatric hematologist for supportive care for your child's specific condition.
If your child begins to show symptoms or signs of anemia, be sure to tell the pediatrician. Also, find out if anyone else in your family has a history of anemia or easy bleeding problems. With proper treatment, your child's anemia will improve quickly.