Sickle Cell Disease

How to manage your child with Sickle Cell disease

What is sickle cell anaemia?

Sickle cell anaemia is a blood disorder which makes the red blood cells to change its shape ending with numerous health consequences. Normal red blood cells carry a round shape, but in sickle cell disease the red blood cells are deformed and the cells become rigid and sticky. The red blood cells will carry sickles or crescent moon shape. Individuals with sickle cell disease prematurely break down the red blood cells; hence it ends up lowering the blood count. This circumstance, thereby adds the suffix anaemia and hence the disease is otherwise named as “ sickle cell anaemia.”

 

Till now, there are no medicines available to cure sickle cell disease. Treatments are available only to manage the pain and other health issues, developed due to the disorder.

 

How your child gets sickle cell disease (SCD)?

SCD disease is transmitted from either of their parents who carry sickle cell genes.  If the disease runs in their family or having a family history of SCD disease, then there is an increased susceptibility of having the disorder.    

 

Symptoms of sickle cell anaemia:

Symptoms usually start from early childhood. People who have sickle cell disease will experience severe episodes of pain throughout the body. The symptoms can vary from person to person. Here, are the lists of symptoms which you might notice when you have sickle cell disease:

  • Severe fatigue or irritability due to anaemia
  • Painful inflammations and swelling in the hands and feet
  • Vision problems
  • Due to a limited number of healthy red blood cells can slow down growth in infants and children. It may also delay puberty in teenagers
  • Frequent attack to bacterial infections
  • Yellow tint in the mouth, skin and eyes
  • Stroke
  • Acute chest syndrome
  • Splenic crisis

 

When should you visit the doctor?

If you experience any of the below-mentioned symptoms, book an appointment immediately with your healthcare provider. 

  • Pale skin
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Repeated episodes of severe pain in the joints, neck, abdomen or chest
  • Swelling in the hands, feet or ankles
  • Fever
  • Changes in the breathing patterns

 

As part of the examination, your healthcare provider will suggest you do a screening test to check for the presence of the sickle cell gene. If the test turns positive, you may be recommended for a few additional tests to check for other possible complications of the disease. Treatment is provided in patients based on the symptoms to relieve pain and to minimize complications.  If pain relief medications are prescribed to make your child feel better, buy medicines online from any trusted online drugstore at your convenience.

 

How to manage your child with sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Parents, caregivers and teachers together, play an important role to bring up the child with SCD. The support from everyone is required to make the kid to stay healthy and to improve their academic performance.

  1. Increase unlimited access to water to keep them well hydrated.
  2. Make sure your child visits the bathroom very frequently. Do inform the school about your kid’s SCD and tell them not to avoid him from bathroom breaks.
  3. Provide a healthy diet for your kid. Try including an adequate amount of fruits, whole grains and vegetables to increase red blood cell counts.
  4. Children should always stay away from extreme cold, high altitudes and swimming in cold water. These conditions may trigger a catastrophe for your child.
  5. Ask your child to frequently was his or her hands
  6. Don’t miss even a single dose of vaccine. Follow the advice of your child’s doctor and get the vaccination done at the right time.
  7. Don’t allow your child to stay near the infected person. This can minimize the risk of getting the infection.
  8. Try using heat pads to relieve the pain
  9. Make your kid exercise regularly at the same time avoid overdoing it. Speak to your doctor and find out the right exercise that suits according to his body needs.
  10. Allow your kid to participate in all physical activities. As your kid is anaemic, there is a high probability of tiring faster. Make sure your child constantly takes breaks and well hydrated in between the sports activity.
  11. A few kids may experience silent strokes hence your kid may have learning difficulties. Also, watch out for any signs of strokes as there is a higher chance of getting during the early school years.   
  12. Kids with SCD should avoid applying a cold pack at the injury site.  First aid should be provided only during emergencies. 
  13. Maintaining a strong bonding between parents and teachers is very crucial. This may help your kid to improve self-esteem and boost interpersonal skills.
  14. Consult a doctor before taking OTC medication like Ibuprofen, Advil, etc., as it can pose serious risks on the kidneys.  Download any reliable online medicine app and click on the medicine search option.  Buy OTC medicines online by choosing the right medicines from the list provided.

 

As a parent try to gain more knowledge about sickle cell disease and caring your child well during the illness can substantially facilitate the disease. Joining in the similar support groups (SCD) can help you to handle the issue more easily. Always stay positive and avoid discouraging your kids!

Lakshmi Krishnanunni

She holds M.Sc., M.Phil in Biochemistry and has strong proficiency in the areas of Immunology, Biomolecules, Cell biology, and Molecular biology to name a few. She has more than 10 years of Research experience in the field of medicinal plants research and Nanotechnology. Her expertise in research has greatly assisted in writing medical, health and research articles. As a writer, she aims to provide research-based information to the readers in more detail.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *