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Baby & Toddler Tips
Because almost all people with hemophilia are male, the words "he" or
"him" are used to refer to children with hemophilia. This does not suggest
that there are no girls who have hemophilia (in fact, there are).
The following are some basic tips for parents and providers of newborns
and toddlers who have been diagnosed with hemophilia, von Willebrand disease
or another bleeding disorder.
Click on the topic below to learn more:
Your child may develop
bruises at the site of a shot. Ice helps reduce the bruising and ease the
discomfort. In cases of severe hemophilia, the doctor may suggest giving
some shots with a small needle under the skin or giving the child a factor
treatment before the shots. Most immunizations are performed subcutaneously
(beneath the skin) to avoid bleeding. You should check with your physician
or HTC professional to find out whether this is possible.
The National Hemophilia
Foundation recommends that your child receive the hepatitis B vaccine (recommended
for all children) and the hepatitis A vaccine (above two years old).
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your child stay fit and trim. Extra weight puts stress on the joints.
There is no evidence that any
particular food will stop bleeding episodes or form blood clots.
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or glue foam pads to the sharp edges of counters and coffee tables. Or better
yet, remove coffee tables while your child is learning to walk. Foam padding
on walkers will help protect elbows.
Gates blocking stairs
are a good way to avoid falls.
Netted crib covers assist in
avoiding falls out of bed.
Place non-skid strips
on the floor of the shower or bathtub. Help your child in and out of the
tub until the child is old enough to manage without falling.
Sew padding into the
knees and seat of your toddler's pants to reduce bruising.
Make sure your toddler
wears shoes to protect his feet. High top sneakers provide good ankle support.
Athletic elbow and knee
pads also help to protect against joint bleeds caused by falls.
Consider getting your
child a Big Wheel tricycle. They are generally more stable and closer to
the ground than regular tricycles.
Make sure your child
wears a helmet when skating, cycling, etc.
Avoid physical activity
that involves rough body contact such as wrestling and hockey.
Enroll your child in
the MedicAlert system. To order an emblem (bracelet or necklace for older
children) or for more information call MedicAlert at (800) 432-5378.
For more information
about safety issues, request the information for parents of a child newly
diagnosed with a bleeding disorder from NHF.
Talk with other parents
about their ideas about safety measures.
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your child to floss regularly and to brush his teeth with a soft brush.
Flossing may cause a small amount of blood to ooze from the gums at first,
but as the gums get healthier, the oozing stops.
Inform your dentist
of your child's hemophilia. Offer to put him or her in touch with your hemophilia
provider if he or she has any questions about special needs. Always question
your child's dentist to make sure he or she knows about hemophilia and is
willing to learn from hemophilia specialists.
Contact your doctor
or HTC before any dental procedures (e.g., fillings, tooth extractions,
etc.) to coordinate treatment. If your child has severe hemophilia, the
doctor may want him to have factor treatment before the dental procedure.
Factor treatment is generally required for any "invasive" procedure. Sometimes
extensive dental work requires a trip to the operating room for treatments
Talk to the staff at
your HTC if you have specific questions about your child's dental care.
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The information contained on the NHF web site is provided for your general
information only. NHF does not give medical advice or engage in the practice
of medicine. NHF under no circumstances recommends particular treatment
for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your
physician or local treatment center before pursuing any course of treatment.
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