Iron supplementation in children 6-23 months of age
It is estimated that worldwide, 600 million preschool and school-age children are anaemic, and it is assumed that at least half of these cases are attributable to iron deficiency. Children are particularly vulnerable to iron deficiency anaemia because of their increased iron requirements in the periods of rapid growth, especially in the first 5 years of life. Iron deficiency anaemia in children has been linked to increased childhood morbidity and impaired cognitive development and school performance.
Iron supplementation has proven to be effective in increasing haemoglobin concentrations in children, especially in those who are anaemic. Therefore, in settings where the prevalence of anaemia in children approximately 1 year of age is above 40% or the diet does not include foods fortified with iron, supplements of iron at a dosage of 2 mg/kg of body weight per day should be given to all children between 6 and 23 months of age.
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Other guidance documents
Related Cochrane reviews
- Intermittent iron supplementation for improving nutrition and development in children under 12 years of age
- Oral iron supplements for children in malaria-endemic areas
Other related systematic reviews
Effect of iron supplementation on haemoglobin response in children: systematic review of randomised controlled trials