Your child appears to be tired and irritable all the time. They don’t seem as active as other children and just want to be held all day. In time, you notice their face looks paler than normal. What is going on with them? Can it be anemia? Anemia in young children can be hard to spot, especially when your child isn’t old enough to tell you exactly what they’re feeling.
If you have a little one with the symptoms mentioned above, here are some basics about anemia in young children. Because symptoms like these can be worrisome, Hospitality Health ER always says, “When in doubt, get checked out.”
Anemia in Young Children
What is Anemia?
Anemia is a medical condition that happens when the number of red blood cells in the body becomes too low. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to tissues throughout your body. When there’s not enough oxygen flowing throughout your child’s body, they’ll naturally begin to experience symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, and paleness.
Who Gets Anemia?
Anemia is actually a pretty common blood disorder. Although it can happen at any age, anemia in children is most common in children under two years old.
What Causes Anemia in Children?
There are many causes of anemia. Anemia in young children is usually caused by a lack of iron in their diet, also called an iron deficiency. Infants that are given primarily cow’s milk for their nutrition are at a higher risk for iron deficiency because of the lack of iron in cow’s milk. This milk can also lead to intestinal blood loss in infants. Anemia is also common in adolescent females due to blood loss during menstruation. Other more serious types of anemia include autoimmune hemolytic anemia and inherited hemolytic anemia, the latter of which is caused by genetic diseases like sickle cell disease, Thalassemia, and G6PD deficiency.