Blood Disorders in Children: Anemia
The cells present in the blood perform a variety of functions. White Blood Cells fight infection. Red Blood Cells supply oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body. The platelets in the blood help in the formation of clot when there is an injury or bleeding.
What is Anemia? Is it common in Children?
Blood is transported by chemical called hemoglobin. When the blood doesn’t have enough hemoglobin, the condition is called anemia. It is rarely seen in children. But maybe present in children who do not eat a balanced diet.
Symptoms of Anemia
Some of the main symptoms of Anemia are:
Common Causes of Anemia in children
- Excess bleeding
- Insufficient iron and folic acid can give rise to anemia.
- If vegetarians do not have a well-balanced diet then they are at more risk of anemia.
- Girls whose diet lack iron rich foods and suffer from heavy periods may become anemic.
- Premature babies also face risk of anemia.
- Certain chronic illnesses like colitis and some type of arthritis can lead to anemic condition.
- When cells are not replaced at the same speed at which they are broken. It may lead to anemia.
Thalassemia: a type of Anemia
Breakdown of cells are called hemolysis. This breakdown which leads to an anemic condition is called Haemolytic anemias. Thalassaemia and sickle cell disease are the two main types.
In thalassemia the hemoglobin is not normal. Thalassemic children are anemic and lack proper growth. The condition is common in Middle Eastern Region and is inherited.
How do we cure or treat Anemia?
- A blood test is conducted to diagnose anemia. Later it is treated with iron or folic acid depending on which is in short supply.
- Diet should include eggs, fish and meat that are good sources of iron.
- Vegetarians should have lots of green leafy vegetables in their diet.