Dealing with anaemia at school

Anaemia is a haematological disease that affects nearly a quarter of the world’s population.

Anaemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce sufficient numbers of red blood cells. Red blood cells are needed to store and transport oxygen to the body’s organs. When there aren’t enough red blood cells, these organs do not receive sufficient oxygen. This can lead to significant organ and tissue damage.

According to a study on the global prevalence of anaemia, pregnant women and children are most affected by the condition.

Children, as a result of various bodily changes and growth spurts, are highly susceptible to the condition. Menstruating females are also at risk for anaemia due to the heavy blood loss experienced during their periods.

School ground

Children spend up to eight hours at school. This includes class time, lunch breaks, exams, physical education, and sport and other extramural activities. School days are especially demanding for kids with anaemia, and can have a negative impact on their academic career and sports performance.

Common symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, shortness of breath, lethargy, a pale complexion and heart palpitations. Experiencing these symptoms at school can be scary, especially if kids are not aware of their condition. If you suspect that your child may be suffering from anaemia, you should take them to your local GP as soon as possible.

Adding iron

If your child has anaemia, here are some steps you can take to ensure they’re getting enough iron.

herbs and spices around cast iron skillet on woode

Copper and cast iron pots

Try cooking your family meals in copper or cast iron pots. Copper pots help to increase iron absorption, and cast iron pots can add a large amount of iron to your diet.

food rich in protein

Iron-rich foods

There are many foods you can prepare for your child that are a great source of iron. These include beans, lentils, spinach, red meat, seafood, whole grain breads and dried fruits.

3d iron pill on spoon over white background

Iron supplements

Various pharmacies and health and wellness stores sell good iron supplements your kids can take orally. Many of these supplements are made more palatable to children by various flavours.

Image credit: iStock

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24