Baby Health,  Parenting

Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Anaemia is one of the fatal conditions which may cause serious health issues to your child. The immune system of the child is badly affected when anaemia symptoms are faced by your child. You being the parent are highly expected to take care of this serious health condition. One of the major cause for the anaemia is the loss of red blood cells from the blood formation. And one of the major cause for this loss is the iron deficiency. Iron intake requirement is met with by the breastfeed exclusively in case of a child who is on the breastfeed and who is not taking any other form of diet.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children:

The parents should give due attention to the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia as the same will help them to identify if their child needs any special care for an un-wanted health condition. Followings may be identified as the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia in children:
Loss of appetite.
Child being irritated for a longer time.
Child being lethargic for the time being.
Early fatigue or tiredness.
Pale skin.
Frequent infections.
A child not growing at normal rate.
Poor cognitive abilities.

Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children:

One of the major cause of this condition is not breastfeeding the child properly and regularly for the very first six months [Read the article and see the video on Breastfeed: How It Benefits Both The Mother As Well As The Baby]. Pre-mature birth also increases the chances of iron-deficient anaemic conditions in the new born child. The lactating mothers not having proper iron intake also causes iron deficiency in the child on breastfeed. Poor hygienic conditions also leads to infections which may cause poor production of red blood cells in the children. The parents should give due attention to these causes to keep their wards away from the anaemia caused by iron deficiency. The parents should also take extra care of the food allergy symptoms in their children [Also read the article and see the video on Food Allergy In Babies: Causes & Treatment].

How To Treat The Iron Deficiency in Children:

The treatment of iron deficiency anaemia is basically rooted in the causes of it. The child should exclusively be breastfed for the very first six months. During this lactating period, the breastfeeding mothers should give extra attention to ensure that they intake the proper quantity of iron to let the same be passed -onto their babies. If for any reason, you are unable to breastfeed your baby, you should give formula milk fortified with iron in consultation with your health practitioner. Consider offering semi-solid foods after the first six months and ensure that the foods contain the required quantity of iron intake [Also read the article and see the video on When to Introduce Solids and Semi Solids Food to Baby]. Ensure that the hygienic conditions are in place to protect your child from the un-wanted bacteria caused by the un-hygienic conditions.

The pregnant women should take extra care to ensure to take iron intake in consultation with their health practitioner so that the baby ‘to be’ has all the necessary red blood cells in his/her blood. The pregnant women should avoid any stress or depression-like conditions as the same will adversely affect the immune system of your baby ‘to be’. [Also read the article and see the video on How Stress Affects Your Pregnancy Health & How To Manage/Avoid It]


American Academy of Pediatrics

Baker, R. and Greer, F. (2010). Diagnosis and Prevention of Iron Deficiency and Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Infants and Young Children (0-3 Years of Age). PEDIATRICS, 126(5), pp.1040-1050.

Immigrant Health Service: Iron deficiency and anaemia. [online] Available at:

Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Children – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center. [online] Available at:

Parkin, P. C., & Maguire, J. L. (2013). Iron deficiency in early childhood. CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal, 185(14), 1237–1238.

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