Iron deficiency in infants is a condition that is caused by low ferritin and usually occurs due to nutrition. We have prepared this article for you to have information about what are the symptoms of iron deficiency in babies and when to start the use of iron vitamin in babies and what to pay attention to.
What is iron deficiency?
Iron deficiency is the name given to the inability to absorb or not enough iron entering the body. Iron deficiency, which occurs due to low ferritin in infants, is a problem that can be seen in children of all ages, starting from infancy.
What causes iron deficiency in babies?
- Irregular, inadequate and malnutrition, thus weakening of the immune system,
- Not meeting the adequate amount of iron due to the rapid growth of the child in the first years,
- Premature or low birth weight
- Not starting the baby over 6 months to solid food,
- Conditions such as a vegetarian diet can cause iron deficiency.
Symptoms of iron deficiency in babies
- pale skin color,
- Deformities and breakage in nails,
- Color changes in the white part of the eye,
- Cracks in the corner of the mouth and on the lips,
- Fatigue and weakness
- constipation ,
- palpitations and shortness of breath,
- learning disability,
- walking and talking late
- distraction ,
- It is the desire to eat non-food items such as soil, wooden pencils, pencil tips ( Pica Syndrome ).
You have noticed a few of these symptoms in your child and you think there is a problem. Your doctor will suspect iron deficiency and will probably do a hemogram test called a complete blood count to measure the iron level. A low erythrocyte level in hemogram results indicates iron deficiency.
If you are wondering what the iron value should be in babies , let’s say that the normal iron rate in the blood should be 80-100 femtoliters. If this rate is lower, your doctor will prescribe a treatment for your child. In this treatment, iron supplements are usually provided in infants.
Use of iron vitamin in infants
When to start iron medication in babies , let’s answer this question first. Iron deficiency is not seen in the first 6 months in breastfed babies. Since the iron in breast milk can be absorbed very easily, this milk is sufficient for the child. With the transition to supplementary food, iron deficiency can be seen in the baby who receives insufficient iron and supplementation can be started.
Nutrition is very important in eliminating iron deficiency, but iron pills are used in infants to accelerate this process. These supplements, which fill the iron stores more quickly than feeding, are especially in the form of iron drops until the age of 1, and in the form of syrup at the age of 1-6 years. In fact, the use of syrup can advance the age even more.
Pay attention to the use of iron pills in babies!
- As with everything, too much iron is harmful! If the required dose is exceeded, a problem called iron poisoning may occur. Since iron poisoning adversely affects the heart, liver and stomach, you should definitely not overdose while using these drugs.
- It is recommended that all iron drugs be given on an empty stomach, because iron supplements taken with food are less absorbed by the body.
- You may wonder if iron medicine is given with juice . Since vitamin C facilitates the absorption of iron, you can drink freshly squeezed orange juice after giving your child an iron pill. If the medicine he takes on an empty stomach gives your child stomachache or he vomits immediately after taking the medicine, you can also give the supplement 1-2 hours after the meal.
- Keep in mind, iron use in babies can cause tooth staining and constipation.
Foods that are good for iron deficiency in children
If the child eats plenty of empty foods, does not consume iron-containing red meat and its derivatives, and has a vegetarian or uniform diet, he may experience iron deficiency. That’s why you should feed him as regularly as possible, with foods with the right ingredients.
What is good for iron deficiency in babies to prevent iron deficiency or contribute to iron supplementation, we have listed very useful foods for you below:
- Red meat and liver
- fish and poultry,
- dried fruits,
- Grape molasses.
Gaziantep University (GAÜN) Faculty of Medicine Department of Child Health and Diseases Lecturer Prof. Dr. Metin Kılınç says that children with iron deficiency can be given a teaspoon of molasses a day after 8 months.
This amount can be increased to one tablespoon per day in advanced ages. You can also serve it by sprinkling molasses on fruit slices.