Screening for Anemia and Iron Deficiency in Children
Infants grow and develop rapidly and need iron in their diet to develop normally. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, a condition that can delay an infant's mental, motor and behavioral development that can create a long lasting affect throughout the child's life even after the iron level in the blood has changed to a healthy level.
"All infants should be screened for anemia with a hemoglobin test at 12 months of age."
-American Academy of Pediatrics
In an effort to identify those children who may be at risk, Southside Pediatrics will be performing a screening test for Anemia during your child's 12 month well visit. A simple blood count performed in the office can diagnose anemia in most cases.
Children Most at Risk:
- If your child was born premature or had a low birth weight
- Children of immigrants from other countries
- Exposure to Lead
- Exclusive breastfeeding beyond 4 months of age without supplemental iron
- Weaning to whole milk or complementary foods that do not include iron-fortified cereals or food naturally rich in iron
- Infants with special health care needs that have feeding problems and poor growth