Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that our body needs to form blood clots. It is an essential micronutrient. It helps produce prothrombin, a protein needed to form blood clots. Without this, even a small cut in the body can cause continuous bleeding, which can cause severe bleeding. Vitamin K levels are very low in newborn babies. Therefore, they should be given vitamin K at birth.
Why is Vitamin K Important for Babies?
Vitamin K is extremely important for babies as it helps them avoid a rare but serious disease called Newborn Hemorrhagic Disease (HDN), also known as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB). Babies do not have vitamin K naturally. In addition, breastfeeding does not contain enough vitamins to protect the baby from VKDB. This disease occurs in the first week of birth and can cause internal bleeding, which can permanently damage organs and even be fatal. Therefore, to take care that newborns do not have their deficiency, they are given their supplements.
In the elderly, vitamin K is produced by intestinal bacteria. However, babies do not have these bacteria to synthesize in the first week after birth. premature babies And children who need surgery have a higher risk of vitamin K deficiency bleeding.
Can vitamin K be given to all babies?
- All babies need a vitamin K supplement.
- Premature babies, sick babies, and babies in need of surgery have an increased risk of developing VKDB
- It may not be appropriate to give vitamins orally to some children.
- Injections have been found to be more effective than oral administration to infants.
- during pregnancy, if you blood clotsepilepsy o tuberculosis If you have been taking medication, tell your doctor. This prevents your child from absorbing an orally administered vitamin supplement and, in turn, requires an injection.
Why do babies have low vitamin K?
Children do not have enough vitamin K because breast milk and during pregnancy placenta It is not transferred in sufficient quantity. In addition, it is synthesized by the intestinal bacteria in our body. However, babies do not have enough intestinal bacteria at birth to do so. Here are some ways to correct this situation:
1. Vitamin K injection for newborns
This is the most reliable and best way to give vitamins to children. The injection is given into the child’s leg. An injection at birth protects the baby for several months.
2. Oral dose of vitamin K for newborns
Oral supplements are not as effective as injections because children do not absorb well when given orally. This is because the vitamin does not last long in the body and therefore 3 doses should be given: at birth, at 1 week and again at 6 weeks.
How is vitamin K given to newborns?
Vitamin K is given to children as a drop by mouth or by intramuscular injection into the child’s leg. Oral doses are less effective than injectable doses. A single injection at birth is enough for several months. If vitamin “K” is given orally, 3 doses are needed. A later dose may be missed or the child may not be able to swallow the drops properly. When vitamin K doses are administered orally, 3 doses are suitable for breastfed infants and 2 doses for bottle-fed infants. Vitamin K drops for newborns are available at all hospitals and you can opt for them if you have the option. However, injections are recommended more often as they are more effective than oral doses.
Are there any side effects of giving vitamin K to a baby?
There are no known side effects of giving vitamin K to children. It helps blood clots and also stops bleeding. Many studies have been done on its effect in children and it has been said that it does not cause any side effects in children.
Where do you get vitamin K?
The pediatrician at the hospital where your baby was born gives you vitamin K. Normally, your nurse or doctor will ask you how you want to give your child, either as an injection or as oral drops. In this case, it is better to choose an injection, as it is more effective than oral drops.
Which children are most at risk of developing vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB)?
Some children may develop bleeding disorders more quickly than others. Know which children are:
- Babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
- Babies who have difficulty breathing at birth and do not have enough oxygen at birth.
- fan, cesarean section Or babies born by birth with tweezers, where there is a risk of injury.
- Children whose mothers have taken medicines for coagulation, epilepsy or tuberculosis during pregnancy.
- children who have a lot of time jaundice and children with dark urine and pale stools.
Possible symptoms of vitamin K deficiency
- The child gets hurt very easily.
- Bleeding from the nose, umbilical cord and intestine.
- Sudden increase in bruises around the child’s face and head.
- Vomiting, yellowing of the skin and gums and irritability.
- If the baby is more than 3 weeks old and has jaundice, its condition worsens.
When to see a doctor?
If you notice any signs and symptoms of vitamin K deficiency, see a pediatrician immediately. If you notice bleeding from your baby’s umbilical cord or the bleeding doesn’t stop for a while after the heel puncture test or if the baby starts bleeding from your nose suddenly, go to the doctor right away. If not treated quickly, it can cause internal bleeding, organ damage and even death.
Vitamin ‘K’ is essential for blood clotting because without it the blood will not clot and at the same time there will be continuous bleeding. Their levels are low in newborns and therefore need to be supplemented at birth. It is considered preferable to give it as an injection, as it will protect the baby from the bleeding associated with any deficiency for several months. At 6 months of age, the baby will have enough intestinal bacteria to synthesize.
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