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Clinical Summary

Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children: Screening

Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the U.S. government. They should not be construed as an official position of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Clinical Summary

Population Asymptomatic children ages 6 to 24 months
Recommendation No recommendation.
Grade: I statement (insufficient evidence)
Risk Assessment No studies assessed the performance of risk assessment tools to identify children who are at increased risk for iron deficiency anemia.
Screening Tests Although the evidence is insufficient to recommend specific tests for screening, measurement of serum hemoglobin or hematocrit is often the first step.
Treatment and Interventions Iron deficiency anemia in children is usually treated with oral iron; the usual dose in infants and young children is 3 to 6 mg/kg of elemental iron per day in 2 to 3 divided doses.
Balance of Benefits and Harms The current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for iron deficiency anemia in young children.
Other Relevant USPSTF Recommendations The USPSTF addresses screening for iron deficiency anemia in pregnant women and iron supplementation during pregnancy in a separate recommendation statement (available at

For a summary of the evidence systematically reviewed in making this recommendation, the full recommendation statement, and supporting documents, please go to

Current as of: September 2015

Internet Citation: Clinical Summary: Iron Deficiency Anemia in Young Children: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. September 2015.

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