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While milk provides vital nutrients in the early stages of a child’s life, other iron-rich foods must be added to the child’s diet after 6 months of age. Drinking too much milk increases a child’s risk of iron-deficiency, especially if the diet lacks other iron-rich foods.
There are presently no guidelines on testing iron levels in toddlers in Canada. Dr. Patricia Parkin from the Hospital for Sick Children, is recommending that serum ferritin be used as a test for low iron levels in children. She explains that iron-deficiency in the early stages of a child’s life affects their growth, development and cognition.