Has anyone's LO ever had low iron/hemoglobin?

Chelese - posted on 01/25/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




Hi my 14 month old Caleb was diagnosed with anemia. And today I just found out his hemoglobin is low. It's low enough to make me really worry. His ferratin was in normal range. A few months ago it was at 10 points and they had him on fer-in-sol. He took that two times a day. Then they said to take him off of it. Well now that that has happened it's dropped. He is on pediasure and that has a lot of vitamins and enriched in iron. When he eats I make sure his foods have high counts of iron in them. He gets lasagna and has beef with mixed vegies and also has the garden vegies from gerber. Has anyone ever had an issue with their little ones about low iron or hemoglobin? And does anyone know or have any advice on what I could do to get it raised back up? I know its hereditary. Mine is low due to vitamin deficient. And my dad has low iron and so did my grandma. Any advice would be sooooo appreciated.


Brittney - posted on 01/25/2012





Babies are born with iron stored in their bodies. Because they grow rapidly, infants and children need to absorb an average of 1 mg of iron per day.

Since children only absorb about 10% of the iron they eat, most children need to receive 8-10 mg of iron per day. Breastfed babies need less, because iron is absorbed 3 times better when it is in breast milk.

Cow’s milk is a common cause of iron deficiency. It contains less iron than many other foods and also makes it more difficult for the body to absorb iron from other foods. Cow's milk also can cause the intestines to lose small amounts of blood.

The risk of developing iron deficiency anemia is increased in:

Infants younger than 12 months who drink cow's milk rather than breast milk or iron-fortified formula

Young children who drink a lot of cow's milk rather than eating foods that supply the body with more iron

Iron deficiency anemia most commonly affects babies 9 - 24 months old. All babies should have a screening test for iron deficiency at this age. Babies born prematurely may need to be tested earlier.

Iron deficiency in children also can be related to lead poisoning.


Anemia in children is usually caused by having an iron deficiency. The low iron in the body causes blood counts to be low and can cause your child to feel tired, have pale skin, and be irritable and weak. It can lead to many problems, including learning disabilities and behavior problems.

The most common cause of iron deficiency is having a diet that doesn't have enough iron in it. This can be caused by using a low iron formula, not supplementing breast milk or formula with an iron fortified cereal, not eating foods that are rich in iron and most commonly, by drinking too much milk. Regular cow's milk does not contain very much iron in it and it can actually prevent your child from absorbing other sources of iron in his intestines. Too much milk can also cause your child too loose small amounts of blood in his stool.

Foods rich in iron include meat, beans, spinach and other foods that say they are iron fortified.

Treatments for iron deficiency anemia includes taking an iron vitamin and improving the dietary intake of iron. Foods rich in iron include meat, beans, spinach and other foods that say they are iron fortified. It is best to give iron vitamins with orange juice, because Vitamin C can help the iron be absorbed. Do not give iron vitamins with cow's milk.

It is important that your doctor rechecks your child's blood counts about one month after he has started treatment to make sure it is working and the anemia is resolving.

Other causes of anemia in children

Although iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia in children, there are many other conditions that can also cause anemia, including those that cause a decreased production of red blood cells, an increased destruction of red blood cells or from blood loss (bleeding).

Conditions that cause anemia from a decreased production of red blood cells (and which will have a low reticulocyte count), in addition to iron deficiency, include:

lead poisoning. Should be considered in children at risk of lead poisoning (take our Lead Screening Quiz to see if your child has any risk factors).

thalassemias, which are inherited disorders that can be mistaken for iron deficiency, because they can also cause a microcytic (low MCV) anemia. If your child has a microcytic anemia that does not improve with iron therapy, then a thalassemia should be considered. Although certain thalassemias can cause severe anemia, in most cases it just causes a mild anemia that does not cause any symptoms and does not require treatment. Testing for thalassemia includes a hemoglobin electrophoresis. Beta thalassemias are most common in people of Mediterranean and African descent. Alpha thalassemias are most common in African-Americans and people of Asian descent.

chronic disease. Many chronic illnesses can lead to anemia.

Vitamin B12 deficiency (sometimes associated with being on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet) and/or folate deficiency (most common in children that goat's milk). These conditions are associated with a raised MCV (macrocytic anemia).

red cell aplasia, including transient erythroblastopenia of childhood (TEC).

aplastic anemia

malignant disease, including leukemia (usually also associated with a low platelet count and an abnormal white blood count) and other symptoms.

Conditions that cause anemia from an increased destruction of red blood cells (and which will have a normal reticulocyte count), include:

sickle cell anemia and other conditions that cause a defect in hemoglobin, including Hemoglobin E, which is prevalent in populations from south east Asia

other defects of the red blood cells, such as membrane defects (hereditary spherocytosis or elliptocytosis), or enzyme defects (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency or G-6-PD and pyruvate kinase deficiency)

hemolytic anemia

Anemia from blood loss can be secondary to trauma and active bleeding or from prolonged or excessive menstrual bleeding (which can also cause an iron deficiency anemia).

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Rebekah - posted on 01/27/2012




My daughter has had low iron all her life (2.5 yrs old). We give her a prescription iron supplement now and that seems to keep it in a more normal range.

Chelese - posted on 01/25/2012




Wow that was some great information Brittney. I never thought about lead poisoning. I defiantly need to check about that. There seems to be so much info to find out why his hemoglobin is low. I certainly hope the dr's can find out in all these tests they did and how we can get it raised back up.

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