As a parent, no doubt you’ve heard about the benefits of iron for your child’s health and development. But, when you’re at the table and your kid is flatly refusing to eat their dinner no matter how hard you try, beg or plead, it can be easy for this essential mineral to slip your mind. So long as you can get them to eat something. Anything!
If this situation rings a bell, you’re not alone. That’s why more than 30 per cent of the world’s population suffer from an iron deficiency. That’s more than 2 billion people!
Hard as it may be to feed your child certain foods once they’ve made up their minds about it, iron is a mineral that you really don’t want to be missing out on.
But how do you know if your little one is getting their fill of iron? It’s not like they’re going to pipe up about it … unless ice cream suddenly becomes a major source of iron.
To help keep your kids happy and healthy, here are some common signs and symptoms of an iron deficiency (and some ways to help increase your child’s iron intake as well).
Iron Deficiency – what it is, how to spot it and help stop it
What are the common causes of an iron deficiency?
An iron deficiency can be caused by a number of different factors in your child’s life. These include:
- If they have had a high intake of cow’s milk if they are under two years old.
- If they have little or no meat in their diet.
- If they are vegan or vegetarian.
A lot of different things can result in a bit of an iron deficiency, so it’s important to figure out what the underlying cause is as occasionally it may require medical intervention. If you have any concerns at all about your child’s health, your first stop should always be your healthcare professional.
What does an iron deficiency look like?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to know whether your child is suffering from an iron deficiency. Symptoms vary from child to child, and often depend on how they personally handle feeling a bit under the weather.
So, what’s a parent to do? Here are some common signs and symptoms of an iron deficiency in children:
- Feeling tired.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- They might look a little pale.
- Lower immune system (frequently ill).
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
Kids often hardly notice symptoms of iron deficieny, but if you feel they are a little “off”, a visit to your GP is a good idea.
How do they test for an iron deficiency in children?
An easy-peasy but not so enjoyable blood test will be able to let your healthcare professional know if your child is low in iron.
Once the results are in, your doctor will then help you to determine the best course of action to help rectify it.
Depending on the severity of the deficiency, all that you might need to do is adjust their diet to include more iron-rich foods. Or, a tablet or liquid iron supplement for children may be required to give them that extra boost.
In more extreme cases, an intravenous infusion of iron may be proposed by your healthcare professional. But, as we said, this is in extreme cases — so try not to worry about that until your doctor gives you all of the facts.
Why use a liquid iron supplement for your child?
While your friendly healthcare professional might encourage you to alter your kid’s diet to include more iron-rich foods, that can sometimes be easier said than done. If you’ve got a fussy eater on your hands, it can seem downright impossible!
Liquid iron supplements for children may help support your child’s intake of iron.
Easy to administer and readily available, liquid iron supplements may help increase your child’s iron level, which may help them to get back to their usual, full-of-energy selves.
A quick tip though — some iron supplements can cause constipation or tummy upsets. So, ask your local pharmacist, doctor or pharmacy assistant to point out a supplement that is recommended for children and is in a format that is gentle on tummies.
Armed with this knowledge, you may find it easier to spot an iron deficiency and jump on it before it becomes too troublesome — even if your little one is a fussier eater than Gordon Ramsay.
This blog post is sponsored by Brauer Natural Medicine
If you’d like to learn more information about Brauer Natural Medicine Liquid Iron With Vitamin C, you can do so here.
*Always read the label, use only as directed. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Vitamins can only be of assistance if dietary vitamin intake is inadequate. Not for the treatment of dietary iron deficiency. Contains Potassium Sorbate.
World Health Organisation 2017, Micronutrient Deficiencies, “Iron Deficiency Anaemia”, http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/
Better Health Victoria 2012, Iron Deficiency – Children, https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/iron-deficiency-children
Health Direct 2017, Iron Deficiency Treatments, https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/iron-deficiency-treatments