A condition in which the red blood cell count or haemoglobin is less than normal.

A lack of haemoglobin in the blood causes tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath and sometimes a fast heartbeat. This is not an illness in itself, but is usually a symptom of another problem such as lack of iron in the diet or chronic diarrheoa.

What to do 

If you suspect your child is anaemic, get the doctor to investigate the underlying cause. Get advice from a dietician to make sure your child’s diet includes iron-rich foods.


  • Pale skin
  • Lack of energy
  • Breathlessness after exertion


See your doctor.


  • If your child has these symptoms she should be seen by a doctor who will run tests to ascertain whether she suffers from anaemia and how severe it is.
  • Treatment depends on the type of anaemia.
  • Sometimes iron supplements will be needed to correct an iron deficiency. 
  • In severe anaemia, blood transfusions may be necessary.

For more detailed info on Common Childhood Conditions, go to Health24.

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