Malnutrition in Toddlers & Infants- Cause, Symptoms, & Precautions
Malnutrition in Toddlers & Infants is one of the most common problems in children even in the developed countries. There are about 2.9 million children in the United States alone who suffer from this problem since birth and later on in the early ages. These children either do not eat at all or are limited to small food intake. This sort of starvation can cause health risking diseases and other health factors.
The main cause of malnutrition is the lack of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other needed supplements in the child. This deficiency can occur because the lack of food intake or the inability to absorb the nutritious elements which are present in the food. This can happen if the baby is not being nursed properly as well. Premature births, diseases and infections present at the time of birth can also cause malnutrition. Jaundice, botulism and even hypothyroidism like diseases can be the reason behind this as well.
If the baby is suffering from this problem, there will by signs and symptoms to help you know. At first, malnutrition can disguise itself in the form of Marasmus in which hair loss, patches on skin, lack of fat and energy in baby, followed by a slower growth as compared to healthier babies can be seen. Later on the presence of Kwashiorkor and stunting, as well as Odemea can be symptoms of malnutrition as well. If the baby is sleeping longer periods, not eating right, or crying too much; these can also be indications pointing towards malnutrition.
Like adults, there are specific supplements which we need in order to balance our health as we are utilizing this energy throughout the day. Our body gets energy from food, and as adults, we know how much we require. But children, like newborns, do not have the idea if they are getting enough food and energy or not. This is why it is important for us to know how much they need to survive and get a healthy childhood.
Infants till the ages of 6 months require at least 9.1 grams of proteins and about 60 grams of carbs a day; whereas, toddlers need 13 grams of protein and 130 grams of carbs when they are in between the ages of 1-3.
The best way to prevent your child from being a target of malnutrition any further would be to talk to a pediatrician. The doctor will help you by providing a healthier diet plan in which your child’s daily nutrition needs will be fulfilled. However, you should not ignore the signs and symptoms of malnutrition at any cost. Reacting late or not reacting at all can cause your baby’s health to deteriorate, and it can be fatal. Nurse the baby well so that he or she may get all of the supplements which they need and which we get from food. Since they are too small and are just dependant on their mother’s milk, as a mother, you will have to make sure the baby is getting enough.
The nurses at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about your in-home pediatric care needs including how to stay healthy at home with RN managed affordable care. We are a private duty home care agency that provides elder home care services and infant services in the Orlando area, call us at 407-788-9393.