My Baby Looks Pale: Is it Anemia?

If you notice that your baby appears to be lacking in energy, and has a pale coloring of skin, your baby may be anemic. The color and tone of the skin is the most noticeable physical symptom, however, you may also notice that brittle nails, or a swollen tongue. Additionally, your baby may be more irritable, tired, or lacking in energy or appetite. Babies and young children are especially susceptible to anemia as their bodies are rapidly growing, which uses up iron in their bodies, causing iron-deficiency induced anemia, the most common type of anemia.

Anemia occurs when iron becomes deficient in the body. Iron is a necessary mineral for creating hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the necessary areas in the body. Generally, anemia is a sign that a modification in diet is necessary so that your baby is taking in the necessary iron. Other possible causes include a problem in the baby´s absorption of iron, or another problem that is causing internal blood loss. Prematurely born babies are at particular risk of becoming anemic, and parents should keep watch for possible symptoms of anemia.

If you suspect that your baby may be anemic, it is important to call your doctor immediately. Although iron deficiencies can be corrected with relative ease, the potential damage that long-term anemia can cause may not be reversible. Your doctor should be able to provide you with appropriate dietary supplements or fortifications to treat your baby.

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