J.D. asks from Boulder, CO on April 26, 2008
Advice for Anemic 13 Month Old Taking Iron
My 13 month old daughter was sick a lot this winter from daycare and so she breastfed a lot. As a result, she is slightly anemic/iron deficient--with a hematocrit of 10. Her pediatrician has put her on an iron supplement (fer-in-sol), 30 mg each day, which is twice the recommended amount on the bottle. I've also introduced beef in the past week and luckily, she loves spinach. I know too much iron can be dangerous, but I don't know how much is too much. Has anyone dealt with this? I tend to very skeptical of a lot of medicines and am nervous about giving her too much iron. I don't want her to be deficient either. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks!
S.S. answers from Provo on April 28, 2008
J., get some chlorophyl and put about 1/4 teaspoon in some juice and have her drink it every day, a couple of times a day. The iron supplements that kids take are so harsh, and not easily absorbed by the body. Chlorophyl is one molecule off blood, and used to be used in place of blood for transfusions. It will get the red blood cells hopping and bring her hematocrit up in a very short time!
T.G. answers from Denver on April 28, 2008
Just have her HCT rechecked soon. Get her iron level up to where it should be THEN back off.
S.W. answers from Boise on April 28, 2008
My son had the same thing, and right now your daughter needs all the iron she can get. You won't overdose from beef and spinich. And the 30mg a day should come in 3 doses, correct? You just need to do this iron 'therapy' for about 3 months or so- it seems really intense, but her numbers/iron level will come up and you won't have to push it so hard in the future. We did that for my son when he was one and now he's 2 and a half and simply eats his flintstone vitamin each day and is doing fine. So stick with it even though it seems intense, its only temporary. We noticed a big difference in sleeping and energy level after our son was on iron therapy.
J.F. answers from Casper on April 28, 2008
I know of a product that i have used for myself and our children. It's called body balance. Call me if you want more info. J. ###-###-####
K.N. answers from Missoula on April 28, 2008
I am a Registered Nurse and a mother of 3 grown children as well as a Grandma of a beautiful 2 year old girl. Ideally, your daughter should get all of the iron she needs from the food that she eats. Did her Dr. specify how long she would have to take the iron supplement? There are a couple of things you can watch for that may indicate too much iron: Watch her bowel movements - her stool will be dark because of added iron but too much iron and not enough water can cause constipation and hard, painful stool or it may do the opposite and cause diarrhea. Iron supplements can also cause stomach aches so you may want to watch her for signs/symptoms of tummy upset such as increased fussiness and decreased appetitie or reluctance to eat. Also watch to see if she get's cold easily or has difficutly or painful breathing. All of these things could be signs of too much iron. One more thing you can try is to give her orange juice with her food as this helps the body absorb iron. Don't hesitate to call her Dr. if you have any questions or concerns, that's what they are there for! Hope this helps. Good Luck! K. N.
L.B. answers from Washington DC on April 28, 2008
You are on the right track- Follow your doctors advice and stay in touch with him... He will probably want to check you daughters iron again in a future appointment.
Constipation is a sign of to much iron- just watch her, her energy should be increasing as she gets some iron in her. Fatigue is a sign of lack of iron.
K.D. answers from Denver on April 29, 2008
We did Poly-Vi-Sol with iron for a hematocrit of 7 as well as whole milk with Carnation Instant Breakfast. He did just fine, and came back strong. I'm not sure how much iron is in it. Also, if you're nursing, taking extra iron yourself will help. I was unable to nurse due to our little guys other issues. One thing I found, is that if the iron difficiency is secondary, it's usually very easily and quickly resolved. Our doctor told us to make sure we keep him on higher doses of iron, but also zinc. As long as your daughter isn't too constipated, you're probably just fine with what she's taking. I hope she gets better soon!
H.S. answers from Salt Lake City on April 28, 2008
K.P. answers from Denver on April 28, 2008
My daughter now almost 12 yrs old was also anemic around
that age. She was also on the iron supplement.....I also
checked the labels on cereals, you would be amazed at the
iron content in some of them. Caption Crunch w/crunch
berries at the time had more than the healther cereals....
just remember to feed it to her without the milk. We did
the beer, cereal and supplement for about 6 mos......she
was back to normal. When she got older I gave her the
chewy vitamins, be careful with those, not many are high
Now, when my daughter asks for certain foods that are high
in iron, especially beef we give it to her....just because
we know her body is needing it.