Causes of Unexplained Bruising on Children

boo booAs a mother myself, it worries me to see bruises on my children. All the more if I have no idea what causes them. I am just glad that when I asked our paediatrician about those bruises, she says that it is sometimes normal for children to have them especially if they are very active.

Bruises are bluish-purple spots you see on your child’s skin, which turn into a yellow- greenish or brown color days after and lasting about a week or two. These spots are caused by damaged blood vessels bleeding under the skin.

There are many things that can cause bruises on children. Now, should unexplained bruising concern us parents? Here are some causes that we need to look into(

1. Falls, Bumps & Injuries – These are common causes of bruises on children. Kids, in general, are very active. My kids love to climb trees, run around playing ball, tag or hide-and-seek that accidental stumbling or bumping into things are likely bound to happen. There would be instances when I would notice a bruise and ask them about it, and they don’t even remember. All they know was they were having a great time playing! So, how would we know if it is something serious?

Bruises from accidents like these are usually located at the shin, legs, knees or oftentimes, the forehead. As long as the bruise is flat and not larger than a size of a quarter, we have nothing to worry about.

2. Physical Abuse -These kinds of bruises are a serious problem that needs attention. If the bruises are severe and are on unusual locations such as the back, the neck, upper arms, buttocks, thighs, ears, face or even in the genitalia, or has a distinct mark or shape, like a hanger, a belt, or a stick, then your child might be physically abused. It is important to call the attention of authorities immediately for this case.

3. Other underlying health conditions – if your child has had unexplained bruising more often than he or she normally had before, it is best to consult your doctor. It could be a symptom of an underlying illness such as leukemia, hemophilia, Vitamin K deficiency, Von Willebrand disease, cancer or other related conditions.

Though bruises eventually heal up on their own, they would heal more quickly and reduce the swelling with the help of an ice or any bag of frozen vegetable wrapped in a clean cloth and placing it over the bruise. After two days, apply hot compress two to three times a day for 10 minutes. Taking medications like Ibuprofen or aspirin can worsen and prolong the clot.

Children will always like to play. It’s in their nature. They would always enjoy running, jumping, climbing and discovering things. Therefore, it is up to us, as parents, to take some precautionary measures such as advising your child to slow down and always be careful. Also keep an eye on them while playing. If you have a child who has the tendency to keep falling, let him or her use some elbow and knee pads and a helmet when playing sports. Remember, safety comes first. So keep safe!

Basic Care and Health Management for People with Neutropenia

I have known a few people with neutropenia. Some of them I have met during my career as a wedding coordinator while others are ordinary friends. Over the years, I became more aware of the vulnerable health of neutropenic people and I promised myself to help them as much as I can.

Neutropenia is a condition that could affect even a completely healthy person. Neutropenic patients have white blood cells that are lower than normal which make them prone to infections and contracting airborne diseases. That is because white blood cells are considered to be the body’s defense mechanism which protects us from harmful bacteria, viruses and microorganisms.

Basic care for people with neutropenia depends on the duration and severity of the condition. If the patient also suffers from fever and other infections, these complications require separate treatment. Surgery is not normally an option buy it may be employed in some cases.

The initial step to the healthcare of neutropenic patients involves strict observance of neutropenic precautions. These are practices that reduce a person’s exposure to possible sources of infections like uncooked or unsanitary foods, dirty environment, and improper oral and personal hygiene. Your doctor will normally give you instructions on the necessary precautions that must be observed within a certain period of time.

Aside from basic healthcare, some patients may have to undergo antibiotic therapy to fight off infections. This type of treatment normally entails the use of third-generation cephalosporins such as cefepime and ceftazidime or their equivalent. For patients who appear septic or unstable, aminoglycoside medications are also normally administered.  Aside from these common antibiotics, other types of antibiotics may also be given to a patient depending on his condition. Antibiotics could be given through injection or orally.

Other medical procedures that can aid neutropenic patients include corticosteroid therapy which is considered to be an effective treatment for immune-mediated neutropenic cases. If the condition is caused by nutritional deficiency like folic acid or cobalamin deficiency, the patient will also be given added supplements to correct the deficiency.

For relatives and medical professionals who care for neutropenic patients, there are also certain procedures that must be observed to avoid spreading infection. One is careful hand-washing before and after contacting the patient.  Medical practitioners must also avoid administering invasive maneuvers such as urinary catheters that violate the natural barriers of the body which fight infections. If caring for the patient at home, strict dietary precautions must be observed. Relatives of a neutropenic person should also list down and carefully follow the right foods and wrong foods for neutropenic people.

People with neutropenia can easily recover from their condition with support from medical professionals and people around them. If you have a family member who is neutropenic, it is important that you should know the basic care and treatment for this condition. You can find a lot of resources online that can help you properly care and feed neutropenic patients. I have just mentioned some of the basic things you need to know. It is also important that you do your research by asking your doctor and reading other resources.