Iron is an essential nutrient for children of all ages. From the moment of contraception, right up until they graduate from high school – young people NEED a sufficient supply of iron.
Iron deficiency occurs when there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. However, if your body is low in iron, it will be unable to create enough of these important red blood cells and therefore, certain parts of the body (mainly organs, tissues and muscles) won’t receive enough oxygen to perform at optimal levels. This is why it is so important to ensure that your kids are getting enough iron into their daily diet, either through the food they eat or with help from iron supplements. The amount that each child needs will be dependent on their age and lifestyle.
Infants under 6 Months
If the infant is being breastfed by the mother, they will receive enough iron from the breastmilk. Many new-born mothers will be taking iron supplements such as those from blueiron.co.uk. This is necessary because the mother is responsible for supplying her child with enough iron, both during pregnancy and after birth. This may prove difficult for mother’s nursing children with formula. However, it is possible to use iron-fortified formula, which will supply enough iron into the child’s system.
Infants aged 6-12 Months
According to The Journal of Nutrition, infants suffering from low iron levels at the age of 6 – 12 months, are more likely to experience continuous effects of iron deficiency during adulthood. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that your child is receiving the right daily dose of iron, which is approximately 11 milligrams per day. It is also possible to feed young infants with iron-fortified cereal for additional iron supply.
When your child reaches the toddler stages of life, they will require around 7 milligrams of iron each day. According to Kids Health, older children at around 4 to 8 years of age need 10 milligrams whilst those aged 9 to 13, require 8 milligrams. As you can see, the amounts required fluctuate and largely depend on the age group. However, it is important to consult your child’s GP if you are unsure about how much iron is required or if you have any questions or concerns.
Teens require a great deal of more iron than younger children. This is because they are going through puberty and will need additional iron just to keep their energy levels up. Male teens require around 11 milligrams whilst females require 15 milligrams. Females in general will require more iron supplements than males because of the iron they lose during menstruation. Low iron levels can cause symptoms such as fatigue, tiredness, headaches, shortage of breath and low energy etc.