Baby getting blood drawn

I waltzed into my son's 1-year checkup a few months ago feeling like an old pro. With two kids before him, I had the routine down pat. A few questions here, a stethoscope there and we would be out of there. Well, not exactly.

What parents need
to know

Just when I thought the appointment was almost over, the nurse wielded a needle at him and told me it was time for his "test." Um, what?

I shielded my son from the needle as I pulled him back from her over-eager advances.

"Sorry, but this is a new one for me," I said. "What is this test for?"

"Oh, well, it's standard. We've always done it," she said, looking at me like I may have lost my mind.

With my oldest only 5 and my middle child only 2, I knew it wasn't something that they had "always" done, so she finally explained that the pediatrician was now routinely screening babies' hemoglobin levels around 1 year of age.

New recommendations

The test for hemoglobin comes from new recommendations that were designed to detect iron deficiencies in babies. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), "Babies should be screened at 12 months of age for iron deficiency and iron deficiency anemia under new AAP recommendations aimed at preventing long-term neurodevelopmental problems."

One of the leading physicians behind the study that led to the recommendation was Dr. Richard Baker, who concluded that there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that iron deficiency and anemia have long-term effects on behavior and brain development.

What is anemia?

Anemia occurs when the body's levels of the protein known as hemoglobin are low. Hemoglobin is responsible for binding oxygen in the bloodstream and carrying oxygen throughout the body — so without it, the body is not properly oxygenated. The most common cause of anemia is low levels of iron in the blood, because iron is required for the body to make hemoglobin. Anemia can also have other causes and will present in the body as low levels of hemoglobin — which is another reason why the test is so important. It can help alert a child's care provider to problems of anemia and beyond.

At risk

Although many baby cereals and foods are now fortified with iron, the AAP reports that more than 9 percent of the U.S. population is iron deficient. And who is at most risk of developing iron deficiency-related anemia? Exclusively breastfed babies, especially after the first 4 months of their lives, since human milk naturally contains very little iron. (This is also why most pediatricians recommend supplementing breastfed babies with vitamin D.)

The test

So, what does the hemoglobin screening test actually entail? It was, much to my surprise, relatively simple. The nurse's aide poked my son's finger with a very small needle and took a blood sample using a cylinder tube. He squirmed and got rather angry at her, but he didn't even cry. It took less than a minute and because I never heard otherwise, I'm guessing the results came back just fine. (Although, now that I think about it, I should probably check on that, huh?)

Why the screening is important

Megan Bishop knows the importance of the hemoglobin screening test. She thought her son just had "puffy" eyelids, but soon, his symptoms worsened. According to Megan, her son was very pale, lethargic, and sleeping most of the day. But the real concern that tipped Megan off that something was very, very wrong was when his nails starting to become indented. Turns out, her son's symptoms were all due to his very severe anemia and iron deficiency. Without the screening test, Megan had no idea just how severe her son's anemia was — but after he was tested, his doctors found that his hemoglobin level was critical at only 4.2 (normal for a 1-year-old ranges from 9.4 to 14).

Megan also cautions parents to watch out for their infants and toddlers drinking too much cow's milk, as that can interfere with iron absorption in the body.

More on baby health

New requirements on vitamin D for your baby
5 Common baby illnesses
What you need to know about group B strep

Tags:


recommended for you

Comments

carpinteyroeme October 26, 2014
reddish colored following teen suicides during express facility2 laid off soon after young adults suicides with express facilityMountain See Young people Improvement Middle throughout Dandridge, Tennessee (Supplier: Knoxville)Not one but two police officers were fired and a manager provides reconciled right after an impartial writeup on a couple of suicides with a children's detention focus during Distance Tennessee.2 police officers were dismissed plus a manager features reconciled once a completely independent article on a pair of suicides at the younger generation detention focus within Distance The state of tennessee.EXCLUSIVE: Minor dog tortured, slain about camcorder; heartbroken manager speaksEXCLUSIVE: Tiny pet tortured, slain for photographic camera; heartbroken user speaksUpdated: Saturday, August 30 2014 Five:Thirty-seven Have always been EDT2014 2009 29 2009:37:19 GMTJessie Anderson baby wipes at a distance holes because she holds a good looking photography with your ex dearest pet dog, Athena, your tiny dachshund.Jessie Anderson baby wipes away from c<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/canada-goose-chilliwack-bomber-blue-topaz-youths-canada-goose-jacket-p-3.html>Canada Goose Chilliwack Bomber Blue Topaz Youth's - canada goose jacket</a>ry since this lady maintains a gorgeous photo involving the woman cherished pet dog, Athena, a new miniscule dachshund.Only Leap trampoline safety recreation area coming to Smith CityJust Get trampoline game car park traveling to Smith CityUpdated: Saturday, Aug 35 This year Half-dozen:3 Evening EDT2014 2009 Twenty-eight Twenty two:Thirty three:21 GMTJohnson Location will be the place to find the main playground equipment area from the Tri Towns and cities in addition to south The state of virginia eventually this current year. Native people won't really need to force around Ninety days distance to search for the best facility available.Williams Metropolis will likely be discover the primary trampoline recreation area during the Three Urban centers along with southwest Va after this year. Regional families don't must generate above 75 mile after mile to search for the nearby option of its kind.Contributor offer $8K to buy headstone designed for murdered 2 year ancient girlDonors allow $8K to get headstone regarding killed 2 year good old girlUpdated: Thurs night, September 35 This year Hunting for:37 Evening EDT2014 08 Up to 29 04:Thirty eight:Tough luck GMTAlmost couple of years following the girl fatality, Prudent Area Deputies came to the realization Emma Baldwin had not obtained a proper burial.BRISTOL, TN (WJHL) Customers remain questioning how to handle it, after having a Triple Towns company owner bundled in place and also remaining village.We all very first mentioned regarding Dr. Hardev Arun Patel recently. A lot of customers say people sealed the particular doorways, yet by no means launched




<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/womens-canada-goose-expedition-parka-black-winter-jackets-for-men-canada-goose-p-213.html>Women's Canada Goose Expedition Parka Black - winter jackets for men canada goose</a>
<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/canada-goose-victoria-parka-black-for-women-canada-goose-jacket-saks-p-78.html>Canada Goose Victoria Parka Black For Women - canada goose jacket saks</a>
<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/womens-canada-goose-whistler-parka-tan-canada-goose-jacket-without-fur-p-93.html>Women's Canada Goose Whistler Parka Tan - canada goose jacket without fur</a>
<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/womens-canada-goose-constable-parka-black-mens-canada-goose-chateau-parka-p-202.html>Women's Canada Goose Constable Parka Black - men's canada goose chateau parka</a>
<a href=http://www.siroccotrading.com\wp-content\index.php?/womens-canada-goose-camp-hoody-sunset-orange-used-canada-goose-jacket-for-sale-p-183.html>Women's Canada Goose Camp Hoody Sunset Orange - used canada goose jacket for sale</a>