Anemia or often referred to as lack of blood is a condition in which the amount of hemoglobin or oxygen-carrying substances in the blood decreases. Based on the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia in children can occur if the hemoglobin level in the blood is <11 g / dl (for ages 6 months-5 years) and <12 g / dl (for ages 6 years-14 years).
In general, anemia can be caused by various things, such as bleeding, faster destruction of red blood cells (less than 120 days), impaired red blood cell formation due to the reduction of a certain substance such as iron, folic acid, vitamin B12 and disorders in the spinal cord.
Anemia that often occurs in children
The prevalence of anemia in children in Indonesia is quite large, where most is caused by iron deficiency. Based on data from Riskedas in 2014, anemia in school-aged children reached 29 percent, while worldwide WHO recorded around 25.4 percent.
Symptoms of anemia in children that most often appear include children looking pale, weak, easily tired, tend to be sleepy, difficult to concentrate, at school age get a learning disorder, easily hurt due to low endurance.
In severe cases, anemia can inhibit the growth and development of children, heart problems such as heart failure, to severe infections.
Tips for overcoming anemia in children
Anemia is a condition that can be prevented. However, if it has already happened, the handling must be done immediately. The following are some ways to deal with anemia in children, namely:
1.Know the cause. To overcome anemia, it must be known first what is the cause. Because there are so many causes of anemia, physical examination and supporting examinations such as blood checks are needed to determine the cause.
To overcome anemia, it must be known first what is the cause. Because there are so many causes of anemia, physical examination and supporting examinations such as blood checks are needed to determine the cause.
If caused by an infection such as intestinal worms, children need to be given worm medicine to stop the infection. If there is bleeding, blood transfusion can be an option for treating anemia.
2. Apply a good diet. Eating healthy and nutritious foods greatly affects the adequacy of children’s nutritional needs. In preventing and overcoming anemia, it is best to provide a food source that is high in iron.
Some foods that contain iron include red meat, chicken liver, beans, spinach and broccoli.
When consuming foods that contain iron, you should not give tea and milk at a time close together. Because the content of both can interfere with absorption of iron in the digestive tract.
3. Consumption of foods that contain vitamin C. In addition to consuming foods that are rich in iron, don’t also forget about high intake of vitamin C. Because, vitamin C can help increase the absorption of iron in the digestive tract. You can provide oranges, strawberries, paprika, kiwi and guava in your child’s side dish.
4. Give iron supplementation. Iron supplementation for children can be done in order to accelerate the increase in hemoglobin levels. In Indonesia, iron supplementation is preferred for children under five, especially those aged 0-2 years.
The dose given is based on the child’s weight, which is 1 mg / kg body weight / day for 3 months for children aged 2-12 years. Despite iron supplementation, a good diet must be maintained and maintained.
Anemia in children often occurs at school age. Therefore, it is very important for parents to know about the condition of anemia in children, so that prevention and treatment can be done well.