Why Young Children Require Iron Supplements

Anemia is very common in young kids due to inadequate iron intake from diet and rapid growth. During this growing period children require iron for normal motor function, growth, proper brain function and metabolism.

If a child is anaemic or suffers from iron deficiency than that may result in delay in physical and mental growth. There can be delay in normal functions such as walking, talking, and brain maturation and even a low intelligence quotient, or IQ. In severe cases of iron deficiency there can be behavioural, developmental problems and retarded mental function. If a baby suffers from anemia during infancy than that may cause irreversible effect on cognitive performance.

Therefore it is very important to make sure the child does not suffer from this from early age. A proper diet ensures correct iron intake. But in certain age group children are at higher risk. Such groups are breast fed babies, fussy eater and young children who just want to drink milk and avoid solid foods. In all such cases iron supplements is required.

The Dosage of Iron Supplements

The dosage of iron supplementation is dependent on body weight and age of child. Low-birth weight and premature infants are at higher risk of anemia, should be given 2 mg/kg/day of elemental iron divided into 1-2 doses for anemia prevention.

A baby in age group of 3-6 months who is exclusively breast-fed require iron supplementation as breast-milk contains less iron. In age of 3 months to 2 year iron supplementation is recommended due to the fact that more than forty percent of babies in this group are anaemic. The dose of iron supplementation is 2-3 mg/kg/day of elemental iron divided into 1-2 doses for preventing anemia.

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