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How Much Iron Does Your Child Need

Maryam Malekian • MS, Registered Dietitian • Nov 04, 2012

Low iron levels in children can lead to anemia-the condition that iron stores in the body become depleted and hemoglobin production is inhibited. Iron deficiency is more common among babies, toddlers and preschoolers simply because their increased iron needs may not be met by their dietary intake.  

Dangers Of Too Little Iron


Symptoms of iron mineral deficiency in children include:
  • Pale-look, fatigue, and cranky
  • Slow growth
  • Reduce bone density
  • Difficulty learning, and perform poorly in school
  • Slow cognitive and social development during childhood
  • Getting sick more easily; getting infections and headaches
  • Decrease appetite

Dangers Of Too Much Iron:

Although iron is an important mineral, too much of it is extremely toxic and may cause cancer, heart disease and other illnesses and even death. Ingestion of 20 milligrams of iron per kilogram of body weight is toxic, whereas 60 milligrams per kilogram is fatal. It is unlikely that a child would take too much dietary iron. However, children can sometimes develop iron poisoning by swallowing too many iron supplements.
Symptom of iron toxicity include: 
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
Read more about the foods high in iron

Daily Recommended Iron For Children and Adults

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine recommends the following daily iron requirements for kids and young adults: 
Infants and children
Younger than 6 months: 0.27 milligrams per day (mg/day)kids iron needs
7 months to 1 year: 11 mg/day
1 to 3 years: 7 mg/day
4 to 8 years: 10 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
14 to 18 years: 11 mg/day
Age 19 and older: 8 mg/day
9 to 13 years: 8 mg/day
14 to 18 years: 15 mg/day








See All Our Nutrition Articles


Written by Maryam MalekianWritten on Nov 04, 2012Last updated on Apr 03, 2016




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