All About Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Children

The Iron-Deficiency anemia children suffer from is an essential nutrient for growing and developing children.

 It carries oxygen from the lung to the rest of the body.

It also assists muscles in storing oxygen. Anemia due to iron deficiency is a prevalent condition in children due to a lack or deficiency in iron.

Further, it can lead to anemia, including lower red blood cell count and low hemoglobin.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Children: what it is?

Anemia caused by iron deficiency is a condition where the body cannot produce sufficient iron.

It can lead to health problems in children, such as fatigue, low vision, and even heart disease. There are ways to get enough iron in the body, but it can be challenging.

Also, it occurs in many stages, from mild to severe.

If left untreated, your child’s growth and development may get affected severely.

This blog will discuss the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures for the iron-deficiency that could lead to anemia.

Iron Requirements of children

A healthy iron intake is required for the growth and development of children. A certain amount of iron is present in the newborn’s body, but they need more according to age.

For instance, if your child is one year old, they require 11mg of iron daily.

The Causes of Iron Deficiency Anemia

Some children get iron-deficiency anemia because they don’t eat enough iron-rich foods. Infants and children are at maximum risk of iron deficiency.

Premature and underweight babies.

Babies who drink cow or goat’s milk under one year of age instead of breast milk

Babies under six months who are not given any other iron-containing food supplement.

Children under five years of age drink cow or goat milk of more than 24 ounces.

Children suffering from chronic disease or having an improper diet

Obese or overweight children

Gastrointestinal tract problems

Loss of blood

Adolescent girls lose iron during menstruation and are more prone to iron deficiency.

Ways to Diagnose Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Children

Noticeable Signs of iron deficiency anemia in children

In most cases, signs and symptoms do not occur until the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia. Children with high iron deficiency may impart their ability to function well.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia are as follows:

  • Pale Skin
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Frequently occurring infections
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Swollen tongue
  • Craving to eat odd or non-nutritious substances such as ice or dirt.
  • Poor appetite or loss of appetite
  • Improper growth and development
  • Abnormality in breathing
  • Frequent changes in behavior


If you notice any of the symptoms stated above in your child, you must get a consultation with your concerned pediatrician and get screening and tests done.

Generally, iron deficiency anemia is diagnosed with the help of blood tests.

Also, it is suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics that all infants aged between 9 months and 12 months must be tested for iron deficiency anemia.

Anemia, in most cases, is diagnosed with the help of the following tests:

  • Hemoglobin Test
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Iron studies
  • Peripheral smear

Treatment of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children

You must give them iron supplements if you think your child has iron deficiency.

But the dosage of the iron supplements depends on the following recommendations:

Premature infants

In the case of premature babies, it is advisable to give the iron supplements at the age of 2 weeks.

Full-term infants

For infants, it is recommended to start giving iron supplements at four months.

Additional ways to prevent

Serve food to your child enriched with iron, such as cereal, pureed meats, beans, spinach, chicken, fish, etc.

Do not give more than 24 ounces of milk to children under five.

Give them foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, tomatoes, etc., as it promotes iron adsorption.

The prognosis for Iron Deficiency Anemia in Children

Depending on your child’s screening and test results for iron deficiency anemia, the pediatrician might prescribe oral supplements of iron or any other multivitamin.

In case of risk, the pediatrician may even recommend further testing.


In conclusion, Iron-deficiency anemia is a common and severe health problem in children. Treatment options are available, and anyone with the condition should regularly check for signs of deficiency.

There are plenty of ways to treat iron deficiency anemia, but the essential thing is to find a doctor that can guide you in discovering the proper treatment.

Sun Pediatrics is one of the most reputed pediatrics hospitals in the USA. With a team of well-qualified pediatricians specialized in their respective domains, we strive to offer comprehensive health care to pediatrics.

Unload all your concerns about your child’s health on Sun Pediatrics.

Visit us for top-notch pediatric healthcare services

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