Causes of Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Toddlers

Iron is one of the most vital minerals of our body. Iron is vital for good health in both children and adults. Iron is important in the synthesis of the protein called hemoglobin that helps transport oxygen to the various parts of the body. If a person doesn't get enough iron in the diet, there may be a deficiency of red blood cells and therefore a lack of oxygen to some of the vital organs of the body.

Unfortunately, iron deficiency is very common in toddlers. Due to iron-deficiency anemia toddlers may often be unable to perform in some of the vital learning activities. Today toddler iron-deficiency anemia has become one of the leading health problems with children.


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This has basically happened because babies are weaned off mother's milk too soon. The infant formula and cereals are also not iron fortified.

Causes of Iron-Deficiency Anemia in Toddlers

Iron-deficiency anemia doesn't develop immediately. Instead, a person progresses through stages of iron deficiency, beginning with iron depletion, in which the amount of iron in the body is reduced while the iron in RBCs remains constant. Due to this, when the life cycle of the existing RBCs is finished, the new RBC will not be synthesized because of iron deficiency. As a result, the red blood cell count drops drastically.

There are several causes of iron deficiency anemia in toddlers. The foremost of these causes is the deficiency of iron in the diet. Sometimes, even if the diet has sufficient iron, the body is not able to absorb it properly. If the child has recently had a lot of blood loss, then too there may be anemia.

Iron deficiency may also be caused due to periods of rapid growth in children.

Children living in poverty may not get iron rich food. However, trends have shown that a lot of school going children have iron deficiencies. Such a deficiency may cause a child's body to absorb more lead than is healthy for the body. Such a situation may cause lead poisoning in children.

Iron deficiency, when coupled with lead poisoning, may cause behavioral and learning problems in children. A lot of babies who are born with low birth weight or are born prematurely may be prone to developing iron-deficiency anemia. Toddlers in the age range of 1 and 3 are the most susceptible to iron-deficiency anemia since this is a period of exception growth. Therefore parents should give special attention to their nutrition in this age.

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