Friday, October 9, 2009

bruising in children

Eversince V came to be a part of our family I've noticed occassional bruises on her legs. I shrugged it off. But the past weeks the bruises have increased. When previously there were 1-2 on each leg now there are 2-3. I didn't think it would merit a doctor's appointment so I just bought a multivitamins with high iron content. I left it at that because aren't children more prone to bruising because of playing/roughousing/bumping into things? But just this afternoon I noticed that V had a single bruise on her arm too. Just this one bruise but it made me go online to learn more about bruises.
And I found out from Dr. Geoffrey Allen of Children's Memorial Hospital that anemia is the most common blood disorder in children. Children become anemic when their bodies are unable to make red blood cells fast enough to replace those that are broken normally, or if their red blood cells are either being broken down faster than normal or are being lost through bleeding. The two most frequent cause of anemia in children are low iron levels and frequent infections.
Did you know that most children are iron deficient? Yes they are. Apparently iron in their diet is not enough for their growing bodies needs. (--> cause #1 check) But taking iron supplements or a change in food intake is enough to treat it.
Now since V started going to school she became more sickly. It is not unusual for her to go home with colds which lasts for a few days and then goes away. (I have previously complained to her teacher about the rate of contamination in class. When a kid gets sick the virus spreads like wildfire.) --> cause #2 check
But is V's bruising a cause for alarm?
These are the things to consider:
- severity
- location - bruising in the trunk and upper arms are not normal
- onset - if the bruising occurs that is not associated with physical activity
- other symptoms - if the bruising occurs with nose bleeding, gum bleeding, etc.
With these information I conclude that V's bruising is "normal" because she has low iron level and is frequently sick. Her multivitamins with iron supplement is still more than half full so I can't really say if it has taken effect. If in a few weeks the situation hasn't improved then I will take her to the doctor to have her checked.

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