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Can Anemia Affect Your Child's Development?

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Anemia is usually thought of as a condition that only affects adults, but children can be anemic, too. An iron deficiency is especially serious in children because of the important role that iron plays in the development of children. If your child is showing the signs of anemia, here is what you need to know.  

Why Should You Be Concerned With Anemia? 

In a growing child, iron helps to move oxygen from his or her lungs to other areas of the body. The iron also helps with providing storage that is needed for the oxygen your child's muscles need. When your child does not have the oxygen needed, his or her growth can be affected.  

If your child has anemia, he or she could experience a number of symptoms, including pale skin, fatigue, and poor appetite. He or she is also more vulnerable to infections. Some children might even have difficulties with breathing and behavioral problems.  

What Causes Anemia? 

There are several potential causes for your child's condition. For instance, his or her diet can lead to an iron deficiency. However, it could also be the result of an infection, certain diseases or medications.  

For some children, the anemia is the result of a genetic disorders. For instance, children who are born with sickle cell disease are more likely to suffer from anemia because of the abnormal shape of the red blood cells. The cells become misshapen and tend to stick in the blood vessels. This results in the blood and nutrients, such as iron, not reaching the appropriate destinations.  

Your child's doctor -- or another excellent physician, found through Choice Medical Group, can determine the cause of his or her condition. If your child is showing any of the symptoms of anemia, it is important that it is detected as soon as possible.  

What Can You Do? 

Your child's doctor can recommend that your child take iron supplements to help improve his or her iron levels, but there are some natural ways you can accomplish this. One of the best ways is to make changes to your child's diet.  

You can increase the iron rich foods that your child consumes. Foods, such as beets, beans, fish, and chicken are good sources of iron. To improve the absorption of the iron, you need to combine the foods with vitamin C rich beverages and foods. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are good for him or her to eat.  

Talk to your doctor to learn about other ways you can help your child manage his or her anemia.