Anemia means that the body does not have enough red blood cells. Without enough red blood cells, your child's body doesn't get enough oxygen. This can cause your child to feel weak or tired. He or she may also find it hard to focus or think clearly.
One common cause of anemia is too little iron. Our bodies need iron to make hemoglobin. This is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells.
There are many reasons children don't get enough iron. One reason is too little iron in the diet. Other reasons are bleeding in the intestines and heavy menstrual bleeding. In some cases, inherited diseases cause a lack of iron.
Your doctor will want to find the cause of your child's anemia. It's not always caused by too little iron. But if it is caused by too little iron, you child may need to take iron pills. The doctor may also suggest that your child eat foods that have a lot of iron, such as meat and beans.
It may take several months for your child's iron levels to return to normal. Your child may still need iron pills for a few months after that.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 6, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
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