Tuesday, May 21, 2019


Sickle cell anemia will usually begin a couple of months after birth and in some cases, may not appear until childhood. Parents naturally should be able to observe and tell any early signs they observe indicating something may be wrong with their babies or toddlers.

This is why it is important to go to your follow-up appointments for confirmation testing to determine whether or not you child has the sickle cell disease. There are early signs that parents can look out for in their babies/toddlers for sickle cell which include:

  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands or feet
  • Pain or swelling in the hands or feet
  • Sleeping longer or more often
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness
These signs occur if your baby has a low number of red blood cells or if the sickle red blood cells stick together and block a blood vessel. We have looked at a number of complications resulting in pain crisis of SCD in adults in previous posts and how sometimes these can be managed at home or when hospitalization becomes necessary. As babies become toddlers or young children, they could start displaying more anemic symptoms like:

  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Being irritable
  • Trouble paying attention
  • Dizziness
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Paleness, often seen in the skin, lips or nailbeds
  • Jaundice
Definitely call your doctor immediately if your child then starts to show any of the following problems thereafter:

  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Sudden change in vision
  • Skin that's yellow or very pale
  • Severe headaches or dizziness
  • Severe stomach pain or swelling
  • Fever of 101 or higher
  • Chest pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Painful erection or one that doesn't go away
Helping our children manage SCD is key to their being able to understand and cope well with their condition. Ensure that they remain hydrated, stress free, do not consume harmful drugs or alcohol, get enough rest and that you keep all of their doctor's appointments so you can share any concerns or new symptoms you observe.

Always Love 💘


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