What is appropriate management of iron deficiency for young children?
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Infants and toddlers with suspected irondeficiency anemia (IDA) should begin treatment with oral ferrous sulfate (3 mg/kg/d of elemental iron). A rise in hemoglobin >1 g/dL after 4 weeks supports the diagnosis of iron deficiency, and supplementation should continue for 2 additional months to replenish iron stores. Recheck hemoglobin at the end of treatment and again 6 months later (strength of recommendation [SOR]: C, based on expert opinion). For primary prevention, counsel parents on the use of iron-fortified formula for non-breastfed infants until the age 12 months (SOR: B, based on randomized controlled study), and introduce iron-rich foods between 4 and 6 months to breastfed babies (SOR: C, based on expert opinion).
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