Anemia is a condition when the body lacks healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen to all tissues. As a result, the organs in the body cannot get enough oxygen intake, so they cannot function properly.
Symptoms of Anemia in Children
Anemia in children can be asymptomatic, especially if it is still in its early stages or is mild. If it gets worse, anemia in children will generally cause symptoms, such as:
- Skin turns pale
- Get tired or weak
- Looks less active
- Reluctant to play or interact with others
- Difficult to concentrate
- Headache or dizziness
- Lack of appetite
In addition, children with anemia usually take longer to recover when sick or injured. Anemia in children and infants can also cause growth disorders or failure to thrive.
Here’s How to Overcome Anemia in Children
There are many factors that cause a child to experience anemia, including:
- Lack of intake of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid
- Have a bowel disorder, such as colitis or celiac disease
- Family history of anemia
- Chronic illness, such as diabetes, kidney failure, or cancer
- Autoimmune diseases, such as lupus
- Blood disorders, eg thalassemia or hemolytic anemia
- Menstruation in adolescent girls
How to deal with anemia in children is very dependent on the cause, Bun. Therefore, if your baby shows signs and symptoms of anemia in your child, you should check his condition with a doctor, yes.
After conducting an examination and knowing the cause of anemia experienced by the child, the doctor can treat it in the following ways:
1. Provide iron and vitamin supplements
Anemia in children caused by a lack of iron or certain vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B12, can be treated with iron and vitamin supplements as needed.
The dosage of supplements or vitamins in children will be adjusted according to their age and weight.
Generally, children aged 1-3 years need about 7 milligrams of iron per day and children aged 4-13 years need about 8-10 milligrams per day. Meanwhile, teenage girls need about 15 milligrams of iron per day.
In addition to iron, children also need B12 intake for the formation of red blood cells. The recommended intake of vitamin B12 for children aged 1-9 years is 1.5 to 2 micrograms per day. Meanwhile, teenagers need about 4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day.
2. Provide nutritious food
In addition to the help of supplements and vitamins, Mother is also recommended to give your little one foods that are rich in iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid to increase their blood.
Various choices of foods that are rich in these nutrients include beef and chicken, fish, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, beans, and eggs.
Not only that, you can also give your little one foods that contain vitamin C, such as oranges, melons, strawberries, peppers and tomatoes, to increase the absorption of iron in his body. With adequate intake of these nutrients, anemia in children can recover.
3. Giving medicine
If the anemia experienced by the child is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor will give antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Meanwhile, to treat anemia in children caused by worm infections, doctors can give worm medicine.
This treatment is important to overcome the cause of anemia, so that treatment to increase the child’s blood can run smoothly.
4. Stopping or changing the type of drug that causes anemia
Anemia in children can be caused by the side effects of certain drugs. If your baby has this type of anemia, usually the doctor will stop or replace the anemia-causing drug with another drug that is considered not to cause anemia side effects.
Of course, before deciding to give certain types of drugs, doctors have considered the risks and benefits of using these drugs, Bun.
5. Perform blood transfusion
Anemia in children who are quite severe, for example due to leukemia, thalassemia, or heavy bleeding, may require treatment in the form of blood transfusions. In children with thalassemia, blood transfusions will usually be needed periodically to meet the needs of red blood cells.
6. Perform a bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow transplant can be done to treat aplastic anemia. This method is proven to be effective for curing anemia in children due to spinal cord disorders, including blood cancer or leukemia.
In this therapy, the child’s non-functioning bone marrow is destroyed with drugs or radiation therapy. Then, the marrow that has been destroyed will be replaced with bone marrow from a matched donor. If this therapy is successful, in addition to aplastic anemia will gradually recover, the risk of relapse is reduced.
Meanwhile, to treat anemia due to kidney disease in children, doctors can provide treatment in the form of dialysis and injection of the hormone erythropoietin.
Different causes, different ways to treat anemia in children. Whatever the cause, anemia should still get treatment as soon as possible from a doctor, Bun.
If your child has symptoms of anemia as mentioned above, it is recommended that you consult a doctor to find out what treatment is right for your little one.