The symptoms of childhood anemia vary according to the severity level of the disease, or what is the same, depending on the decrease in red blood cells in the child's blood, which are responsible for transferring oxygen to the different organs and cells of the body.
In the case of mild or moderate anemia, the child may present symptoms such as tiredness, pale skin, the inner part of the eyelids and the "root" of the nails, feeling cold, lack of appetite, weakness, muscle weakness, lack of energy and drowsiness.
In the most severe cases of anemia, increased irritability in the child's behavior, an increase in heart rate, and a total loss of appetite can be observed. Your mouth or tongue may be whitish. Apart from that, a delay in growth and psychomotor development can also be observed, as well as the repetition of infections.
In case of observing some of these symptoms in the child, without an apparent cause, it is indicated to take him to the pediatrician. Only the doctor will be able to evaluate and diagnose each particular case, and order, if necessary, a blood test to see the level of hemoglobin in the child's blood.
Anemia can be a symptom of other diseases or problems derived from some difficulty in synthesizing important elements of the blood, so it is important to take a medical check-up.
When there is a suspicion that the child has anemia, the first test that should be done is a blood test in which the level of hemoglobin, hematocrit, etc. is reflected. The doctor will also want to know the eating habits of the child and the family, as well as their behavior and behavior.
If the suspicion of anemia is confirmed, the pediatrician will determine a rich and balanced diet as the first step to ensure adequate nutrition for the child. Iron and vitamin B12 are two essential elements that should not be lacking in the diet of children with anemia and that are present in red meat and organ meats, as well as in raw green vegetables (rich in folic acid).
The second step is to supplement the diet with preparations containing iron, and other vitamins, orally. The dose, as well as the vitamin supplement, should only be indicated by the doctor.
The duration of the treatment will depend on the results obtained in the subsequent follow-up examinations. Typically, a supplement is given for three months or until the hemoglobin value has normalized. In cases of severe anemia, and that is aggravated by pneumonia, asthma, respiratory failure, or other risk conditions, a blood transfusion can be used, always recommended by the doctor.
Blood transfusion is only used in certain cases due to the risks involved: severe anemia, anemia plus pneumonia or asthma with moderate or severe respiratory failure. Whole blood or red blood cell pack is used.
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