My 14-month-old daughter refuses to eat. What happened to her? And now she is anemic. I'm so worried about her!
Go to a doctor.
Go to a PCP, Primary Care Physician first, and then any additional follow-ups they may recommend. If you don't have one, or don't have insurance, there is many free clinics out there with very well trained doctors (many doctors will do this as a volunteer or service to the community as well as running their private practice or working at the hospital). Some hospitals will also take you as well and start an assessment and possibly even start you on the path of getting a PCP.
There is no way we as a community could diagnose such a thing. This could be so many different things, but WebMD will not help, only a physical physician in person.
This might not be a really bad situation, but there is so many factors here, but it is bad that the situation got to this point.
A few parenting books will tell you that children will not starve themselves (paraphrasing whole chapters of several books). This is true for anyone that can feed themselves. You put food in front of them and they will consume if they are hungry and can physically feed themselves.
However, some 1 year olds (or even older) don't have the full motor skills yet to pick up a utensil and feed themselves, or the fine motor skills and find and grab the cheerio (or whatever food it might be) and eat it. Some may be aware of this challenge that they don't know how to do that and then simply not eat. Others may simply be unaware or not know because this is a "first" or they have been trained to being fed.
Again, this could only be diagnosed and found if going to a Primary Care Physician first, and then possibly (but not always) being referred to another doctor or specialist.
If a toddler is being fed by an adult and refuses to eat or won't eat, this could be a few other things as well. It could be something simple as the stubbornness of the child is outweighing the resolve of the parent. I know a few parents whom work hard and get home and just don't have the patience for a 1-hour meal of attempting to feed their child while they themselves are hungry.
This is a constant battle for every parent-child relationship and will be for 30+ years of your lives. Its better to deal with it sooner than later, realize what you need to do to overcome things and get a good pep-talk for raising your kid. AGAIN, go see a doctor and they will tell you directly.
Lastly, the child could have an allergy or be sick with something simple. Although I paraphrased that many parenting books say that children (as with all people and animals) will not starve themselves given the opportunity, the one thing that these books and chapters go over to is that people will not perpetuate themselves being or getting sick. If every time you eat you get sick, you will not want to eat. Some people are aware that its shell-fish, or peanut butter or milk or something else. Kids are not aware of that and may just carte blanche swear off food.
AGAIN, only a doctor can diagnose anything and tell you. PLEASE go see a doctor. A few personal stories to hopefully help.
My 4 year old wasn't eating at one point and we thought he was just being difficult. Turns out, he has a mild lactose sensitivity. So every time he ate something with dairy, his belly gurgled and it he didn't like it, so he swore off all food for a bit. We didn't let it get bad and we DID SEE A DOCTOR to diagnose things.
My 6 year old was recovering from the flu. She loved blueberries so much I planted some blueberry bushes so in the spring/summer/fall she could pick them and eat them. So as she was recovering from the flu, she thought she was 100%, went outside, ate a few blueberries, got sick and threw up. It wasn't the blueberries, but the flu that made her throw up as she still wasn't have solid foods other than toast at that point. Now, because she got sick once, she won't eat anything with blueberries, or eat the blueberries from the bushes I planted.
My 2 year old, who is also extremely stubborn wasn't eating for a while either. We were worried about him. Turns out he had a stomach flu, but wasn't throwing up or anything because 1) he wasn't eating and 2) he didn't want to, he had enough resolve and will power to keep things down, but didn't want to eat in fear that it would come up. We DID GO TO A DOCTOR and get things diagnosed.
All 3 of them had are healthy eaters now, and were checked out by a doctor. I am sure every parent will have a story similar to that. However, it then also goes back to my second point....eventually you have to out stubborn them and get them back to eating regularly.