PT Health Life

Harmful effects of vitamin A deficiency in children

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PT health Life – Vitamin A is a micronutrient that is insoluble in water but soluble in oil. Vitamin A is essential for physical development and contributes to strengthening the immune system to protect the body against infections.

1. What causes children to have vitamin A deficiency?

The reason why children are deficient in vitamin A is because they are not breastfed. Children’s diets that do not provide enough vitamin A and fat also lead to vitamin A deficiency.

Children often suffer from respiratory infections, measles, recurrent diarrhea, helminth infections, and severe malnutrition, which also leads to vitamin A deficiency.

2. How does Vitamin A affect children?

Vitamin A participates in the process of cell division to help children grow healthily and develop normally.

Vitamin A plays a role in eye vision, especially at night. Vitamin A protects the integrity of the skin, eye mucosa, tracheal mucosa, small intestine and excretory glands.

In addition, vitamin A enhances the body’s immunity, increasing resistance to infections, tetanus, tuberculosis, measles…

Vitamin A deficiency will cause children to grow slowly and become stunted. Reduced ability to see in low light, also known as night blindness.

Vitamin A deficiency will cause damage to the eye cornea, leading to blindness. Reduced resistance to disease, susceptible to serious infections, especially measles, diarrhea and respiratory infections… will lead to the risk of death in young children. Vitamin A deficiency also causes diseases such as measles, respiratory diseases, and prolonged diarrhea .

Vitamin A deficiency will cause children to grow slowly and become stunted.

3. Where is Vitamin A found?

  • Breast milk, especially colostrum, is rich in vitamin A. Therefore, when a baby is exclusively breastfed, there is no need to supplement high doses of vitamin A within the first 6 months of life.
  • Foods of animal origin such as liver, meat, fish, eggs, milk…
  • Foods derived from plants, green, yellow and dark red vegetables such as spinach, amaranth, spinach, jute, spinach, broccoli, carrots, pumpkin, mango, papaya enough, gac…
  • Because vitamin A is oil-soluble, a diet full of fat will help absorb vitamin A well.

Therefore, to prevent vitamin A deficiency, infants and young children should be breastfed, because breast milk is rich in vitamin A, especially colostrum. Mothers also need to take high doses of vitamin A (200,000 IU) immediately after birth to ensure that breast milk has enough vitamin A for the baby.

Taking care of children from the time they are still in the womb, the mother needs to eat nutritious food and supplement foods rich in Vitamin A. The diet should have enough foods rich in vitamin A. In addition to using foods rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin A should be accompanied by a diet with enough fat in the diet so that vitamin A can be absorbed easily.

Ensuring environmental hygiene, infection prevention, deworming.

In addition, it is necessary to supplement high doses of vitamin A as recommended by the health industry. Children 6 – 36 months old must be supplemented with high doses of vitamin A every 6 months (June 1 – 2 and December 1 – 2 every year) at local vitamin A drinking points.

Note that exclusive breastfeeding for infants 0 – 6 months old is the most effective way to supplement vitamin A. Feed children with adequate nutrition , train them to have the habit of eating green vegetables, get used to many types of food, do not follow their preferences, only let them eat one type of food regularly. Food should be diverse, suitable for taste, and the factor that helps children eat well is beautifully presented food.

In addition, children need to be fully vaccinated. Let children exercise and sleep properly.

During food preparation, there should be oil and grease to help enhance the absorption of vitamin A, because this is a fat-soluble vitamin.

Do not arbitrarily supplement vitamin A for children. If you arbitrarily supplement vitamin A in large amounts or for a long time, it will lead to excess vitamin A. Excess vitamin A will cause poisoning, increasing intracranial pressure leading to nausea, vomiting, and headaches. In young children, there is a bulging fontanel.

In addition, excess vitamin A will affect bone development, causing children to grow slowly, have neurological disorders and many other consequences such as itchy skin and psoriasis, congestion in the skin and mucous membranes, dry and brittle hair, Fragility, inflammation of the oral mucosa, dry lips, cracked lips, enlarged liver, peeling skin on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Especially for women before pregnancy and in the first 3 months of pregnancy, excessive vitamin A supplementation can cause cleft palate ; cardiovascular, muscle, bone, central nervous system malformations…

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