In India, anemia is the most common nutrition problem and it affects more than half of the total population, Along with pregnant and lactating women young children are the ones most affected. The estimated prevalence in India amongst pre-school children is 70%. ICMR has shown that as many as 63% of children from 1-3 years of age and 44% between 3-5 years of age have subnormal hemoglobin levels.
In children iron deficiency develops slowly and produces few acute symptoms. As the deficiency worsens children become pale and weak, eat less, and tire easily. They gain weight poorly, have frequent respiratory and intestinal infections, and may develop pica. The most worrying association is between iron deficiency and impaired developments in behavioral cognition and psychomotor skills. Over the past three decades many studies have confirmed this relation.
A consistent finding in different countries is that severe, chronic iron deficiency in infancy identifies children with poorer cognitive function and lower scores in school achievement tests, suggesting that irreversible abnormalities result from a deficiency at a critical period of growth and differentiation of the brain. Association of Iron Deficiency Anemia with mental and psychomotor impairment during the first 2 years of life no longer seems to be in doubt. In fact, Iron Deficiency Anemia during early childhood has been associated with abnormal child behavior, growth, and development.
In children, iron deficiency is commonly due to increased physiological demand of iron during the growth and development. Deficiencies of iron in diet and hookworm infestations are other common causes of iron deficiencies in developing andtropical countries including Indian Sub-continent, particularly in rural areas.
These high incidences of anemia amongst children and its long-term consequences in adult life make it highly imperative to correct the iron deficiency amongst children at the right time.
Ferric Ammonium Citrate:
Ferric Ammonium Citrate is one of the best-tolerated iron supplements. It provides an optimum tolerance of the iron preparation, which is of utmost importance in maintaining long term patient compliance to any hematinic therapy. It rapidly supplements elemental iron so that iron deficiency is quickly controlled, thus leading to faster correction of anemia and replenishment of tissue iron stores.