Health Watch - Prevention: Iron Deficiency

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about easy steps you can take to prevent major medical problems. Iron deficiency anemia can have serious consequences for children. It can cause physical and mental developmental delays and impair a child’s ability to learn. One simple thing parents can do to help prevent this problem is to wean them from the bottle at an appropriate age.

Prolonged bottle feeding or exclusive breast feeding are among the risk factors for iron deficiency anemia. Dr. Jane Brotanek, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says children should generally be weaned by about one year of age. Starting at about six months, breast- or bottle-feeding should be supplemented with iron-rich foods such as fortified cereals. Toddlers should drink no more than two cups a day of cow’s milk and should eat a diet including iron-rich foods such as fortified cereals and breads, eggs and spinach.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/pediatrics/ to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in pediatrics.

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February 2009

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