Anemia in children and its treatment
Some problems that seem normal and sometimes we do not consider very important can be a sign of anemia in children. Stating that almost half of the children aged 0-1 in our country have anemia problem, Anadolu Health Center Child Health and Diseases Specialist Dr. Mehmet Kılıç explains the problem of anemia, which can also prevent the development and growth of children…
Its medical name is “anemia”, that is, anemia; A disorder that occurs as a result of the number of red blood cells (red blood cells), either together or separately, falling below normal values appropriate for that age. As a result of this decrease, there is a decrease in the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and the amount of oxygen going to the tissues. Anemia is seen in many children between the ages of 0-1 in our country. If care is not taken and precautions are not taken, this problem may grow and reach dangerous dimensions.
There are three main causes of anemia in children: The first is lack of production, the second is excess destruction, and the third is blood loss. Although the frequency of anemia varies according to certain age groups and the cause, the type of anemia we call physiological anemia is seen in our country, which mostly covers the 0-1 age group.
It is seen in girls who are not fed properly
If there are risk factors, the problem of anemia, which is seen at all ages and genders, is more common in healthy infancy and especially in adolescent girls who do not have adequate and balanced nutrition.
Anemia first manifests itself with loss of appetite, paleness, restlessness, and shows its effects with symptoms affecting all systems such as increased heart rate, constipation, weight loss, growth retardation, and regression in behavior and cognitive functions.
Treatment must be directed towards the cause. Different approaches are taken for deficiency in production and different approaches for excess destruction. For example, iron supplementation is provided to babies starting from the 3rd month of iron deficiency anemia, as it is very common in our country. The most important thing for all ages is a balanced and correct diet.
Only breast milk should be given for the first 6 months
Children need to be fed according to their age and needs. For example, only breast milk is given for the first 6 months. If it is not possible, nutrition should be provided with iron-containing foods. Complementary foods are started after the 6th month. As you get older, iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, red and white meat, and liver should be included. Foods containing vitamin C, such as oranges, tomatoes and lemons, which increase iron absorption, should not be forgotten.
Cow’s milk reduces iron absorption
The view that “drinking milk causes anemia” is not entirely true. Since cow’s milk reduces iron absorption, milk should be consumed without inhibiting iron absorption. We do not recommend milk to children in the first 12 months. After 1 year of age, it cannot be perceived as a normal meal and can be consumed after digestion. For example, there is no harm in children drinking a glass of milk before going to bed at night. Daily milk intake should not exceed 500 ml.