Although hemophilia is a serious condition that requires equal attention and serious care, it is manageable. Receiving a diagnosis of hemophilia does not mean your little one won’t be able to enjoy a normal and active childhood. By creating the safest possible environment and taking proper health precautions, you can help keep your child healthy and happy.
Because education is always an important step to staying engaged in your child’s health, we’re happy to share the following guide. Learning more about hemophilia and how to care for a child with this condition can enable the best actions for overall health and wellness.
What is hemophilia?
Hemophilia is a disorder where the blood does not clot properly. Although this is largely an inherited disease, there are cases where hemophilia develops due to spontaneous genetic changes while in the womb. When it is inherited, hemophilia is passed on through the X chromosome and overwhelmingly affects boys.
There is a range of types and severities for hemophilia. The mildest cases may not be noticeable or cause minor excessive bleeding while the most serious can result in internal bleeding and other complications that can be life-threatening. Hemophilia is typically diagnosed in children who bruise and bleed a lot, are irritable, have blood in the urine or stool, and seem to have stiff and swollen joints.
Treatment for children with hemophilia can involve IV injection of clotting factors, other medications, and physical therapy. Although hemophilia is a lifelong condition without a current cure, it is possible to successfully manage it with proper treatment, precautions, and lifestyle considerations.
5 Tips for Caring for a Child with Hemophilia
No two children and no two cases of hemophilia will ever be the same. This means that providing the best care for a child with hemophilia will mean understanding their unique diagnosis. It will also depend on your specific home and family situation.
The following tips can be applied to help care for nearly any child who has received a diagnosis of hemophilia:
1. Create a Safe Environment
There is no way to completely prevent a bleeding episode, but you can certainly limit the risk. As much as possible, try to avoid slippery surfaces, exposed edges and corners, and excessive clutter in the house. Adhering to basic safety measures and staying mindful of potential accidents is an important care step for children with hemophilia.
2. Help Your Child Stay Active
Physical activity is important for overall health, and this is particularly true for children with hemophilia. Children with this condition can and should engage in exercise, but contact sports and activities with high injury risk, such as football, wrestling, skateboarding, BMX, or skating, should be avoided. When participating in any activity, make sure supervisors, instructors, or coaches are aware of the condition, and that your child has emergency identification.
3. Understand Nutritional and Dietary Needs
Most children with hemophilia will not have any special dietary restrictions, but it is still important to eat a nutrient-rich diet to promote growth and development. Making sure your child has enough vitamins, minerals, and protein can ensure strong muscles, joints, and bones as he or she grows. Calcium and iron are important for blood and bone health and can potentially help limit the need for dental or medical procedures that can be risky for children with hemophilia.
4. Know How to Provide First Aid if there Is a Bleeding Episode
Make sure you and any caregivers understand how to respond if there is an accident or injury that causes bleeding. In addition to standard protocols of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) to help slow or stop bleeding, children with hemophilia may benefit from specialized sealants or compounds to control bleeding. Any medication that thins blood should be avoided in children with hemophilia. Your child’s doctor or specialist can provide detailed and individualized first aid information that is best for your specific situation.
5. Know When to Contact Medical Professionals
Always know when to contact emergency medical services for a child with hemophilia. It is usually advised to do so If there is uncontrolled bleeding, your child is in pain or discomfort, and especially if there is any sign of internal bleeding.
How Pediatric Home Health Services Can Help
Caring for a child with hemophilia is a team effort. Make sure that all family members, caregivers, teachers, or anyone else who regularly interacts with your child understand this diagnosis, how to take proper precautions, and how to respond in the event of injury.
For so many families who are managing hemophilia, pediatric home health services are an essential piece of the care puzzle. A qualified home health professional can help you manage the considerable care needs that come with this condition so that your child can have the safest, healthiest, and most active possible childhood.
Services can include supervision, help administering treatment and medication, nutritional assistance, and accompanying your child during appointments. With busier and more complex schedules in today’s world, pediatric home health is helping a growing number of families with a wide range of needs.
Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Health Care
It can be hard to balance your time between work, home, and caring for a child. That’s why our team of professionals at Care Options for Kids is here to help. We have been enforcing precautionary measures and following the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for COVID-19 to ensure the safety and health of our clients and employees.
Our home health care services offer one on one support in the comfort of your home. We refer loving and competent nurses to provide customized care for families — from a few hours a day to around-the-clock supervision. Contact us directly to speak with a home health care professional or request a free in-home assessment. Together we can determine the best plan of action to keep your loved ones happy and healthy.
If you or a loved one are considering Pediatric Home Health Care Services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today at (888) 592-5855.