What are the Symptoms of Jaundice In Children and Its Treatment

Jaundice in Children Causes

  • Jaundice a condition caused by increased bilirubin level in the body which manifests in the skin and other organs. An obvious yellow-colored in the skin is a symptom of this condition.

  • The bilirubin in the body is a byproduct when the hemoglobin is broken down. The liver is the one responsible for the processing and elimination of this element.

    Thus, when there is problem in the liver, bilirubin is not excreted from the body and would only circulate in the blood causing the discoloration in the skin or eyes.

  • In children, aside from the malfunctioning of the liver, jaundice is also due to slow or obstructed passage of the bilirubin going to the intestines, as well as too much breaking down of the red blood cells.

  • There are specific biological conditions causing jaundice in children, which include the following:

    • Breastfeeding

    • Biliary atresia

    • Autoimmune hepatitis

    • Malaria

    • Hemolytic anemia

    • Viral hepatitis

    • Physiologic jaundice in newborn

Jaundice Symptoms in Children

  • Infants: Jaundice often occurs in infants from the 48th hour to the 96th hour after birth. Yellow skin and eyes are the usual manifestation of this.

    Since the skin tone of newly born babies is different to that of adults, jaundice can sometimes be unnoticeable. To determine if the baby is jaundiced, press the forehead gently. If the area where pressure is applied becomes yellow, then it is a sign of jaundice.

  • Older children: Symptoms in this age group include:

    • Yellowish skin and eyes

    • Change in the color or urine (orange or dark brown)

    • Itchy skin

    • Abdominal discomfort

    • Nausea and vomiting

    • Fatigue

    • Weakness and lethargy

    • Foul-smelling stool that is pale in color

Jaundice in Children Treatment

  • Newborn who manifests signs of jaundice has to be observed continuously and blood tests are done on a regular basis to determine the bilirubin levels. Those with severe jaundice have to be placed under phototherapy, a blue light, to help break down the bilirubin in the skin and minimize symptoms. In very rare cases, blood transfusion is needed.

  • Those older kids with severe jaundice conditions, the following treatment are indicated:

    • Follow a proper diet that is low in fat and low in protein.

    • Use of antihistamine to control the itching in the skin.

    • Taking vitamin B supplements

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