Pediatrics - Anemia
Anemia is a blood disorder. It is characterized by a lack of red blood cells or hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells. Anemia results if not enough normal hemoglobin or red blood cells are produced, too many red blood cells are destroyed, or if too much blood is lost. There are many types and several causes of anemia.
Symptoms of anemia include shortness of breath, fatigue, and a pale complexion. Treatment depends on the type and cause of anemia. Untreated anemia can lead to serious medical complications, such as a heart attack.
Red blood cells are produced inside of your child's bones in the bone marrow. Red blood cells live for about 120 days. Your child's bone marrow continually makes new red blood cells to replenish the supply.
Am I at Risk
Is My Child at Risk?
Risk factors may increase your child's likelihood of developing anemia, although some children that develop the condition do not have any risk factors. Children with all of the risk factors may never develop the disease; however, the chance of developing anemia increases with the more risk factors your child has. You should tell your doctor about your child's risk factors and discuss your concerns.
Risk factors for anemia:
_____ Children may be at risk for anemia if they have an iron, folate, or vitamin B12 deficiency.
_____ Some anemia related blood diseases may be inherited. If parents experienced or genetically carry a blood condition, they should ask about their child's risk.
_____ Your child's risk for anemia is higher if he or she has medical conditions that affect the bone marrow, such as chronic illness, kidney disease, or arthritis.
_____ Significant blood loss from an injury or surgery can increase your child's risk for anemia.
_____ Females with heavy menstrual periods are at risk for anemia.
_____ Bleeding associated with inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer increases the risk of anemia.
_____ Older adults and pregnant females have an increased risk for anemia.
_____ Certain medications may increase your child's risk for developing anemia, especially chemotherapies.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.