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How Should I Help My Child Live With Sickle Cell Disease?

Over the years, there have been significant medical advances in new treatments and preventive care that have reduced the life-threatening problems SCD patients experience. However, though reduced, SCD is still severe, chronic, and sometimes fatal.

The way you manage your child’s SCD depends on:

  • The type of SCD your child has
  • How severe the SCD is
  • How frequent your child experiences complications
  • How well both of you take preventive measures

Remember that you may not have the ability to prevent your child fully from developing SCD complications. But assisting your child live a healthy lifestyle helps reduce the complications. Ensure that your child takes eye exams regularly and gets stroke screening tests. Additionally, discuss with your child’s healthcare provider to ensure that your child:

  • Always eats a healthy diet
  • Sleeps well
  • Drinks enough fluids

Be cautious about any exposures prone to a pain crisis for your child. For example:

  • Cold weather
  • Swimming in cold water
  • High altitudes

Help your child prevent any infections by doing the following:

  1. Avoiding staying close to sick people
  2. Washing their hands often
  3. Taking all medically advised vaccines, for example, pneumococcal
  4. Taking all advised screenings, for example, hepatitis C

Is there anything the parent of a child with SCD should help their child with that I’ve forgotten? Please mention it in the comments’ box below.

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