Vitamin A is necessary for good eyesight. In children, Vitamin A deficiency causes loss of eyesight. If this deficiency is very severe, it may lead to permanent blindness. In our country every year 30, 000 children lose eye sight due to Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency symptoms are seen more severely in children of age group 1 to 5 years.
Blindness among children with vitamin A deficiency does not occur suddenly. Vitamin A deficiency when recognized at the early stage can be rectified through intake of nutritious food rich in vitamin A
Symptoms of severe deficiency
Night blindness is the first symptom. Children with night blindness are unable to see in poor light condition /darkness. The white part of the eye dries up and loses its shining quality.
On identifying the above symptoms, consult the doctor immediately. If untreated, the condition may lead to permanent blindness.
Growing children need sufficient nutritious food. When there is lack of proteins and calories in a child's body (malnutrition), diseases like marasmas and kwashiorkor occur.
Malnourished children in the age group of 1-5 years
Symptoms of Marasmas
This disease starts with the swelling of legs followed by hands and the whole body. Rough skins, less hair on head with hair colour changing to reddish brown are symptoms of marasmas. Affected children look pale and lack enthusiasm.
Symptoms of kwashiorkor
Children affected by the disease are very weak and thin. Children may get diarrhea during initial stages. The skin looks dry.
Treatment tips for children with the above diseases
Nutritious food rich in calories and proteins need to be given to the children in adequate quantities in frequent intervals. Children with severe deficiency symptoms need to be taken to the doctor immediately.
Diet for children affected by Marasmas and kwashiorkor
National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad has developed nutritious food called MIX with the mixture of all nutrients. The mixture can be prepared in the house.
INGREDIENTS IN THE NUTRITIOUS MIXTURE
Fried wheat - 40grams
Putnal grain - 16 gr
Fried ground nuts - 10 gr
Jaggery - 20 gr
Powder the ingredients and mix them. The m consists of 330gr of calories and 11.3 gr of proteins.
This mixture is fed with milk or water. It has been experimented to feed the children who are suffering with Marasmas and kwashiorkor diseases.