Iron deficiency

Iron deficiency in children: How to recognize and treat it early on

Child eating a healthy meal.

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Iron deficiency in children: How to recognize and treat it early on

Iron plays a crucial role in the health and development of our children. But what if the little body lacks this essential mineral? Here you can learn how to recognize iron deficiency in children at an early stage and what you can do about it.

1. why is iron so important for children?

Iron not only supports the transport of oxygen in the blood, but is also essential for growth, brain development and the immune system. Deficiency can impair children's cognitive and physical development and lead to health problems.

2. symptoms of iron deficiency in children

Before moving on to treatment options, you need to know the signs of iron deficiency:

  • Paleness: Especially on the inner surfaces of eyelids and lips.
  • Fatigue: Your child often seems tired and has little energy.
  • Irritability: unusual moodiness or short attention span.
  • Low appetite: Your child may refuse food, especially foods rich in iron.
  • Frequent infections: Due to a weakened immune system.

3. risk factors for iron deficiency in children

Some children are more susceptible to iron deficiency than others. At-risk groups include:

  • Premature babies
  • Children who receive cow's milk before the first year of life
  • Children in rapid growth
  • Children with special dietary habits, e.g. vegetarians

4. how is iron deficiency diagnosed?

If you suspect your child may have an iron deficiency, you should have him or her examined by a pediatrician. A blood test is usually performed to check the hemoglobin content and ferritin level.

5. iron deficiency treatment

Treatment depends on the severity of the deficiency:

  • Iron-rich diet: this includes foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, legumes and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Iron supplements: In more severe cases, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements. These should be taken exactly as directed.
  • Vitamin C: It promotes the absorption of iron. So give your child fruits and vegetables regularly.

6. iron deficiency prevention

Prevention is the key. Make sure your child eats enough iron-rich foods. For babies who are breastfed, iron-rich complementary foods can be started after six months.


Iron deficiency in children is a serious problem, but one that can be well managed with proper nutrition and attention. By recognizing symptoms early and taking appropriate action, parents can ensure that their children stay healthy and active. If iron deficiency is suspected, a physician should always be consulted to determine the best course of action for the affected child.

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