Anemia in Children: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
Windowofworld.com – Anemia in children can cause it lethargic and not excited in carrying out their daily activities. If not treated immediately, anemia can cause problems with child development. Therefore, it is important for parents to recognize anemia in children, so that it can be treated immediately.
Anemia or better known by the public as less blood is a condition in which the number of red blood cells in the body decreases to below normal limits.
This disease can occur when the body has difficulty producing red blood cells or damage to red blood cells. Anemia can also occur due to heavy bleeding, so the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin (Hb) decreases dramatically.
Causes of Anemia in Children
There are many factors that can cause a child to develop anemia, namely:
- Genetic disorders, for example in thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
- Nutritional deficiencies or certain nutrients, such as iron or vitamin deficiencies (folic acid and vitamin B12).
- Certain diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, bone marrow disorders, hemolytic anemia, hypothyroidism, and kidney failure.
- Chronic infection.
- Side effects of drugs or exposure to certain chemicals.
- Injury or serious injury.
- Cancer, such as blood cancer (leukemia).
Symptoms of Anemia in Children
Anemia in children at an early stage often shows symptoms that are not typical, there are even child’s with anemia who do not feel any complaints or symptoms.
Because it is difficult to recognize, many cases of anemia in children are only detected when there are complications due to anemia, such as growth and growth disorders or disorders of certain organs, such as the heart, brain, and kidneys.
But usually, before the condition is severe, child’s who have anemia will show the following signs and symptoms:
- Often looks weak or tired.
- Less willing to play or interact with people around him.
- The skin looks pale or yellowish.
- Yellow eyes.
- Often complains of headaches, dizziness, or pain in certain bones or body parts.
- Heart beat.
- Hard to breathe.
- Frequent infections.
- Wounds that are difficult to heal.
In child who are already attending school, anemia can also cause complaints in the form of learning difficulties or difficulty concentrating in class.
Signs and symptoms of anemia in children are often not typical and can resemble other diseases. Therefore, if you find a number of complaints above on your child, consult a doctor so that the cause can be ascertained.
In determining the causes and types of anemia in children, doctors need to do physical and supporting examinations, such as blood tests, bone marrow aspirations, to genetic testing if anemia is suspected to be caused by genetic abnormalities.
Treatment of Anemia in Children
Handling of anemia in children will be adjusted to the cause. The following are some of the treatments that will be performed by doctors to treat anemia in child:
1. Provision of iron and vitamin supplements
If anemia in children is caused by a deficiency of iron or certain vitamins, such as folate and vitamin B12, the doctor will prescribe an iron or vitamin supplement in the form of syrup, tablets, or powder. The dosage of supplementation for children will be adjusted to the child’s weight and age.
In addition to supplementation, your doctor will also encourage you to give your child foods that are rich in iron or vitamins. It aims to help the child’s body produce enough hemoglobin and red blood cells.
2. Provision of antibiotics or worm medicine
In anemia caused by bacterial infection, the doctor will give antibiotics to kill the bacteria that cause the infection. Meanwhile, if the cause is a worm infection, the doctor will provide worm medicine for children.
Anemia in children will usually improve after the infection is resolved. But to speed up recovery, give children nutritious food, especially foods that contain iron and vitamin B12.
3. Termination or replacement of types of drugs that cause anemia
If anemia in children is caused by side effects of drugs that are consumed regularly, the doctor will stop or replace the drug with other drugs that do not cause side effects of anemia. Before deciding this, the doctor will certainly consider the benefits and risks of using the drug.
4. Blood transfusion
If the anemia is severe, the doctor may recommend a blood transfusion. In addition, blood transfusions will also usually be carried out routinely in children with anemia due to certain diseases, such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.
5. Bone marrow transplantation
This method is used to treat anemia in children caused by disorders of the bone marrow and aplastic anemia. Doctors also usually recommend a bone marrow transplant to treat anemia in children caused by blood cancer.
In certain cases, anemia in child must be treated with surgery. To determine the appropriate steps to deal with anemia in children, along with the risks and side effects, you need to consult further with your pediatrician.
Prevent Anemia in Children
The best way to prevent your child from anemia is to provide nutritious and nutritiously balanced food.
If your child is still breastfeeding, try not to give cow’s milk before he is 1 year old. Breast milk does have a lower iron content than cow’s milk, but baby’s digestion is more able to absorb iron from breast milk than cow’s milk.
When your child is ready to eat solid food, you can provide additional iron intake from foods rich in iron, such as meat, fish, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and tofu.
If the child is old enough, you can also provide additional iron intake from multivitamin supplements for children. However, you are advised to consult with your doctor first to determine the type of supplement and the right dosage to prevent anemia in children.