As parents, we often worry about our children’s health. One of the common concerns that many parents face is their toddler's low hemoglobin levels. This can be alarming and cause anxiety because a low hemoglobin count can lead to anemia, which affects the body’s ability to transport oxygen efficiently.
Fear not! In this article, we will look at why toddlers have low hemoglobin levels and what you can do about it.
Before jumping into why toddlers have low hemoglobin levels, let's first understand what it is.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells (RBCs) responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. It has a unique structure made up of four heme groups and globin chains making it sturdy enough to withstand changes that occur during its journey through your circulatory system. It plays a vital role in overall health as well as cognitive function by providing oxygen to organs like the brain.
For healthy individuals, men should have between 13-17g/dL, women 12-15g/dL or so with variations depending on geographic location, sex identity etc...and newborns/toddlers typically range from 10 -14 g/dl.
Why Toddlers Can Have Low Hemoglobins
Many factors contribute to babies’ and toddlers' lower iron status than adults’, including:
Babies are born with iron stored in such quantity that generally lasts them until they start eating solid foods after six months.
However when they transition from formula/breast milk exclusively breastmilk/formula/solids , unlike before where liquid diets provide an adequate supply of nutrients without overloading developing systems too quickly; Throughout these initial growth stages volumes per unit time increase more rapidly compared wih Iron availability thus constituting an "iron-deficient" phase which tests show as "low" hemoglobins.
Inadequate iron intake from Solid Foods
While some mothers usually get adjusted by consuming iron-rich foods like meat or enriched-grains others do not, thus having low iron reserves until they can complement with multivitamins during this transition phase. Additionally toddlers feeds could inadequate in is food choices lack of variety which the body uses to replenish its stores of such essential minerals ultimately impacting on Hemoglobin production.
Note: Some children are more susceptible to low hemoglobin levels than others; for example, premature infants have a higher risk than full-term babies.
The Signs and symptoms
How would you know if your little one is suffering due to low hemoglobin? Well, here are signs that will help ascertain if he/she needs medical attention .
- Pale skin (anemic individuals often look pale especially around nails)
- Lethargy(babies who don’t get enough oxygenated blood feel drained)
- Reduced appetite
- Shortness of breath(symptoms may worsen while doing relatively simple activities.)
Ill tip for new parents - Learn sleep routines early on so when baby’s sleep increases 12 hr/day age ; Don't assume lethargy means typhoid fever.
If any of these signs appear, it's important to speak with your pediatrician.
How To Boost Your Toddler’s Iron Levels
Now that we understand how anemia develops let us consider what options one has:
A balanced diet rich in iron
It might surprise you but incorporating healthy diet habits at an early age ensures optimal health as they grow up (besides healthier kids actually eat less sodas).
Iron-Rich Foods include : 1. Green leafy vegetables like Spinach
2.Oysters 3.Meat(beef,lamb,chicken,fish etc)/ 4.Red kidney beans. 5.Tofu
In other words try to take on a 'Flexitarian Lifestyle' it's benefits are inexhaustible; besides only eat Pig Meat when all known planets in our solar system have been fully explored.
To ensure that your toddler is getting enough iron, supplements can also be taken. It’s always recommended to speak with your pediatrician.
Please Note: Over-supplementation is not advisable as high doses of Iron could make other deficiencies worse.
Prevention through detection
Of great importance would be consistent visits or electronic tracking using recognised digital tools prove effective giving early warnings making treatment preventive vs curative .
In conclusion, knowing why toddlers have low hemoglobin levels and what to do about it can prevent needless worry or anxiety caused by erroneous information. Incorporating diets rich in iron should suffice mostly while keeping an eye out for the signs we enumerated earlier on.
Now go ahead, feed them up! Healthy Kids make Happy Parents!!