Symptoms of malnutrition in young children
What is malnutrition in young children? Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and or nutrients. Generally , infants and young children under 3 years of age are more likely to suffer from malnutrition. So what are the symptoms of malnutrition in young children?
- Protein deficiency: Clinically fatigue, often accompanied by anemia, weight loss in children, delayed growth and development, and decreased resistance to infectious diseases.
- Vitamin A deficiency can cause eye problems, lowers immunity, and increases the danger from diarrhoea and infections.
- Deficiency of sugar can lead to hypoglycemia, and they are usually fatigue and growth retardation.
- Calcium deficiency: Children are prone to osteoporosis, abnormal bone and tooth development, and some children may have low calcium convulsions.
- Lack of vitamin D or calcium leading to rickets mainly in women and girls can lead to a malformed pelvis and extra dangers in giving birth.
- Potassium deficiency: Children often have muscle weakness, and severe arrhythmias can occur.
- Insufficient dietary fiber: They are more prone to Constipation
Causes of infant malnutrition
- Bottle feeding with infant formula, which is less nutritious, may be over-diluted and often causes diarrhoea and inadequate complementary feeding after six months.
- Sudden weaning: There should be no planned steps to wean the baby, but weaning suddenly, so that the children’s gastrointestinal tract can not adapt.
- Frail children: low-weight children, twins, multiple births or frail children caused by dystocia and suffocation and other factors are easy to get malnutrition.
- Exposure to infections such as respiratory and gastrointestinal infections such as pneumonia, lung abscess, cleft palate and frequent vomiting can lead to poor appetite, loss of weight and malnutrition,
The harm of malnutrition in young children
During the first two years after birth, the malnourished young children who do not reach their optimum height or consistently experience bouts of weight loss during childhood are affected in the long term in numerous ways.
If nutrition intake is insufficient at this stage, it will affect the brain development. Their intelligence will be affected resulting in low IQ. They are also are prone to infection, which kills many children during their early years
And after suffering from malnutrition after 2-3 years old children, even if the child is lightweight and mentally backward, as long as the malnutrition is corrected, both can return to normal.
How to prevent malnutrition in young children
- Ensure pregnant mother get adequate during pregnancy.
- Promote exclusive breastfeeding for six months and regular breastfeeding till at least the age of two.
- Introduced weaning at six months.
- We need to prevent infectious diseases correct congenital malformations to prevent malnutrition.
- Avoid harmful and unhealthy food and physical exercise to correct poor eating habits and enhance physical fitness.