Anemia is the most common blood disorder. Many people think that it is a disease that only adults gets. However, anemia in children is fairly common as well.
The most common type of anemia in children is caused by an iron deficiency. Having an insufficient amount of iron in the body will cause a reduced amount of hemoglobin production. It will also reduce the amount of healthy red blood cells. Hemoglobin is what transports the oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues and without the correct amount, they will not function properly. Inherited anemia is also very common among children. Sickle cell and hemolytic are the inherited forms of anemia. Sickle cell is caused by misshapen red blood cells that die quickly and also cause a blockage in the blood vessels. Hemolytic is caused by hemolysis, the rapid destruction of red blood cells. Anemia in children can become very severe if not diagnosed and treated.
Knowing the signs of anemia in children is the first step in getting rid of the disorder. One of the first signs to look for is pale skin and nails. This is caused by the lack of oxygen and poor blood flow. You may also notice the child has decreased energy and may appear very tired. This is one of the most common symptoms of anemia in children. The body will be working overtime to make up for the lack of oxygen and therefore, it will be weak. If the child complains of headaches or dizziness it could be a sign of anemia. The brain will not be getting enough oxygen and can cause this. In some severe cases, it can also cause the child to faint. Change in appetite and muscle cramping can also be signs of anemia in children.
There are different treatments for anemia in children. One of the easiest ways to treat the anemia in children is to change the child’s diet to include more iron-rich food. Also, food that are rich in vitamins b-12 and folate could help treat the anemia. Red meat and dairy fall under both of these categories. If this is not working you will want to speak with a pediatrician for possible treatment options. The doctor may prescribe an iron supplement to help increase the iron levels. Sometimes, anemia in children can become severe and more treatment is needed. These treatment options include blood transfusions, injections for increased hemoglobin production and steroid therapy.
Since anemia in children can become severe very quickly it is important to get it diagnosed right away. Knowing what the signs are will help you diagnose it. If you notice any signs or symptoms speak with your pediatrician about getting treatment as soon as possible.
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