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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are normal iron levels in toddlers?

    Related Topic
    What are normal ferritin levels for a twenty two month old girl, and how do u treat iron deficiency?
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    Jemma is a dietitan with a special interest in Paediatrics (growth, allergies & intolerances, weight management, fussy eaters) & gastro intestinal nutrition (adults and children- … View Profile

    Normal Ferritin levels for children 6m-15 years are 7-140 mcg/L or 7-140 ng/mL (Source: WebMD)

    Eating a diet rich in sources of iron (see below) is usually sufficient to prevent iron deficiency from dietary causes (however children may lose iron through malabsorption, disease processes or excessive bleeding.)  The RDI for iron in this age group is 9mg/d.  Drinking excessive amounts of milk in childhood is often associated with low iron levels.

    Once a child is iron deficient, it's actually very difficult to increase their iron levels through diet alone and a supplement is usually required to boost their levels.  There are liquid iron supplements available (e.g Incremin.)  Iron supplementation is only recommended if their level is actually low (and should be done under medical supervision.)  Iron in excessive amounts can be toxic.  It can also cause gastrointestinal upset (constipation, nausea and vomitting.)

    In conjunction with supplementation, to ensure iron levels are maitained once the supplement is ceased, it's important to ensure dietary iron is optimised.  To do this consider:
    -offering red meat 3-4 times per week
    -offering eggs, lentils, chickpeas, chicken, fish, peanut butter and other good sources of iron
    -including green leafy vegetables with meals
    -serving meals with a source of vitamin C found in many vegetables and fruit, juice is not recommended for children.  Some examples include broccoli, capsicum, caluliflower, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, peas, orange, berries, kiwi fruit, pineapple)
    -reducing milk to 2 glasses per day
    -seeking advice from a paediatric dietitian if your child is vegetarian or a fussy eater
    -seeking advice from your GP or paediatrician if your child has chronic diarrhoea

  • Elizabeth Newsham-West is committed to optimising the health and well-being of people across all ages within the Mount Tamborine community.  She works as a domicillary … View Profile

    Iron deficiency anaemia is not uncommon in infants and children.
    However to diagnose iron deficiency anaemia healthcare professionals look at a number of blood tests of which ferritin is only one.
    Usually an iron studies test is done which measures serum iron, ferritin and transferrin, and the interpretation of the results of these tests is required to diagnose iron deficiency anaemia.  Using only one measure can result in an incorrect diagnosis.
    Ferritin is a measure of iron stored in the body and is a very useful test. However this may be normal or high with iron deficiency anaemia in different medical conditions.
    If you are concerned your infant is iron deficient it is best to discuss this with your GP, who will do all the required blood tests necessary and explain what they mean for your child and provide you a treatment plan and refer you to the appropriate Healthcare Professional as part of this plan.

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