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Health Tips / Babies and Iron

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Iron is a vital mineral for growth and development in the infant and is necessary in the production of the oxygen-carrying pigment haemoglobin in red blood cells. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world, and is a major cause of anaemia.

Symptoms of anaemia include paleness, lethargy and reduced immunity to infection. Up to ten percent of two-year-olds in Ireland may suffer anaemia. Babies are born with reserves of iron which normally become depleted after four to six months of growth and development. Iron deficiency can be determined conclusively through a blood test. Iron deficiency may result from causes including inadequate iron intake in the diet or from poor absorption of iron.

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures are basically ensuring a healthy balanced diet or if necessary supplementing the diet with additional iron - see below

Non-prescription Treatments

Dietary alteration to include iron rich foods will increase iron levels over time. In some cases a liquid, iron supplement such as FER-IN-SOL drops, will be recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. The drops may be given by dispensing directly into the mouth with the dropper or by mixing with water or fruit juice. The duration of treatment will vary depending on the severity and cause of the deficiency. This should be discussed with your general practitioner.

Further Information on the medicines listed above including dosage is available at

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Last update: 16/05/2013 12:38 • Previous update: 30/11/-0001 00:00