How long and how much do iron supplements for children?

31.05.23 67

Iron is an indispensable micronutrient for the development of the child’s body, and plays an important role in the production of red blood cells in the blood. For each stage of development, physical condition, age as well as iron supplement needs for each child will be different. Safe and effective iron supplementation for children is always a matter of concern for families and health professionals. Let’s find out this content in Solife’s article.

Why should iron supplements for children?
Iron is abundant in some vegetables, tubers, and nuts

1. Why children should be supplemented with iron

An essential mineral in the production of red blood cells for the blood, iron transports oxygen throughout the body to feed cells and brain function. It plays an important role in cellular respiration, as well as transporting and storing oxygen cofactors of proteins and enzymes to form red blood cells for the body.

In addition, iron is also an essential element for the development and growth of young children. According to research by scientists, the body of young children needs to be supplemented with a relatively large amount of iron, 8.5 times more than adults if calculated by body weight. When the body lacks iron, the baby’s muscle tissue and cells are easily affected, severely reducing the baby’s mind and body.

Iron supplementation for children is very necessary
Iron is very important for the body and the development of the baby

Iron deficiency is also the cause of fatigue, and lack of concentration and greatly affects the results, daily living and learning process, and cognitive impairment in young children. Inadequate iron supplementation causes anorexia, difficulty swallowing, irritability, and severe neurological impairment. When the immune system is not protected by a solid wall, it is easy for young children to face illness, disease, …

Therefore, iron supplementation for children is extremely necessary, a matter of concern for nutritionists as well as parents in the process of raising young children. It is necessary to pay attention to the appropriate dose of iron for children and to solve the problem of how long it is reasonable to supplement iron for children.

Learn more about: The effects of iron on the body

2. How long should a child take iron supplements?

Iron supplements for children for how long? Parents need to rely on the age, physical condition of the child as well as the guidance of experts to make reasonable supplements.

For a full-term baby, the body has enough nutrients stored right in the womb. Normally, mothers should supplement iron for babies starting from 4 months until the baby eats more foods for two servings per day.

When the baby is still in the breast-feeding stage, the mother should feed the baby 100% breast milk and add a little powdered milk product to provide enough iron for the baby’s body. At the age of weaning, the mother needs to build a nutritious diet for the baby that combines both milk and other foods such as porridge, and pureed meat,…

How long is iron supplementation for children reasonable?
Iron supplementation should be based on the age of the baby

As for premature babies, mothers should supplement iron for babies from 2 weeks old to about 1 year old when the baby enters the weaning period. This is the golden time to supplement iron minerals, creating favorable conditions for the baby’s healthy development. Depending on the condition of the baby’s body, the dose of iron added will be different, usually lasting from 3 to 4 months.

Le Bach Mai, Director of Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic system: “In any case, parents should not arbitrarily add a large amount of iron to their baby for a continuous period of more than 6 months. without consulting your baby’s doctor”.

Read more: Iron should be taken before or after meals to bring the best effect?

3. Adequate iron dosage for children

The dose of iron supplements for children of each age, and sex is different and has been recommended by experts. Over time, the amount of iron in the body can decrease gradually, and the need to increase the dose of iron supplements for the baby. Parents can refer to the recommendations of the US National Institutes of Health.

With baby girls:

  • From 0-6 months old: 0.27mg/day
  • Between 7-12 months: 11 mg/day
  • Children 1-3 years old: 7mg/day
  • 4-8 years old: 10mg/day
  • Children from 9-13 years old: 8mg/day
  • Between the ages of 14-18 years: 15mg/day

With a baby boy:

  • From 0-6 months old: 0.27mg/day
  • Between 7-12 months: 11 mg/day
  • Children 1-3 years old: 7mg/day
  • 4-8 years old: 10mg/day
  • Children from 9-13 years old: 8mg/day
  • Between the ages of 14-18 years: 15mg/day
Safe dosage of iron supplements for children
Iron supplements should be given at a reasonable dose for children

4. Things parents need to pay attention to when supplementing iron for children

How to supplement iron for babies to achieve the best absorption is always a concern of parents. Here are a few important notes for parents in the process of iron supplementation for children:

  • Follow the dosage recommended by the Ministry of Health and experts. Supplemental deficiency or excess will cause bad consequences for the physical and intellectual development of children.
  • If children have stomach problems, parents should add iron to their children’s meals to avoid stomach upset as well as stomach irritation.
  • Iron supplements combined with vitamin C. This helps the baby to increase the absorption of iron into the body. Vitamin C is abundant in cauliflower, tomatoes, cabbage, lemons, guava, …
  • Avoid taking iron with taboo foods such as carbonated water, calcium, .. because they inhibit each other, reducing the effectiveness of use.
  • Iron-fortified syrups are easy to stain teeth, so you should brush your baby’s teeth after use.

Above is all the information shared from Solife’s related to iron supplementation for children that parents need to pay attention to. Iron supplementation is extremely important for the comprehensive development of young children, it is hoped that during that development, parents will have a thorough understanding of nutrition, to let your child grow up safely and healthily.

Read more: What is the function of iron? Is it fine to take iron and vitamin c at the same .

Trần Hoàng Uyên (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) là chuyên gia cấp cao với nhiều năm kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực dược phẩm. Tốt nghiệp cử nhân chuyên ngành Quản lý dược I tại Trường Đại học Y dược TP. Hồ Chí Minh và hiện đang công tác tại công ty dược phẩm. Với hơn 10 năm kinh nghiệm làm việc trong ngành dược, chị Hoàng Uyên là chuyên gia cộng tác tham vấn y khoa cho danh mục blog cũng như các nội dung liên quan trên Solife. (Tran Hoang Uyen (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) is a senior specialist with many years of experience in the Pharmaceutical field. She graduated Bachelor of Pharmacy Management I at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City and is currently working for a pharmaceutical company. With more than 10 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Hoang Uyen is a medical consultant collaborator for content on Solife's website.)