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Signs & Symptoms of Childhood Anemia

Updated February 21, 2017

Most cases of childhood anaemia are caused by an iron deficiency. But a diet low in vitamins C, B-12, and folate--or an inability to properly absorb these nutrients--can also lead to anaemia. Because there is not enough oxygen reaching all the organs and tissues of the body, various symptoms appear in children that are similar to those of adults with anaemia.

Fatigue

Many anaemic children suffer from fatigue or tiredness even after a full night's sleep. This is a very common symptom.

Rapid Heartbeat

With anaemia, the heart does not get enough oxygen, so it pumps faster to get the oxygen it needs to function. Thus, rapid heartbeat is another common childhood anaemia symptom.

Dizziness

Oxygen is very important to the brain. If the brain does not get enough oxygen-rich red blood cells, which is often a by-product of anaemia, a child may feel dizzy or light-headed.

Paleness

Children who have anaemia do not have a rosy glow. Instead, their skin is often pale or yellowish. Paleness is the result of not having enough haemoglobin in the red blood cells.

Irritability

Suffering from fatigue, dizziness and other symptoms, the child doesn't feel well and this can lead to irritability.

Decreased Appetite

Another symptom of iron-deficiency anaemia in children is loss of appetite. The child has little interest in food.

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