Iron deficiency with anemia may develop in an infant or toddler because of any combination of inadequate body stores, inadequate dietary intake or blood loss. Identification of a child at risk can often prevent anemia by more aggressive management and followup.


The diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia is usually made at an age between 9 and 24 months.


Risk factors:

(1) premature infant with low birthweight, including infant of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.)

(2) iron deficiency in mother during pregnancy

(3) hemolytic disease of the newborn

(4) perinatal hemorrhage

(5) malabsorption

(6) chronic diarrhea

(7) intestinal parasites

(8) occult or overt gastrointestinal blood loss

(9) other occult or overt blood loss (pulmonary hemosiderosis, etc.)

(10) diet containing insufficient iron (cow's milk, foods not iron-fortified)



• The adequate iron intake for an infant is about 7-8 mg of elemental iron per day.


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