(Ages 1 to 5 years)
Welcome to the wonderful world of toddlerhood – a time of rapid change and transformation. As children grow from 1 to 5 years old, they may advance from crawling to playing organized sports. As your child learns to crawl and to walk, the chances for bumps, bruises and bleeds increase. Learn key ways to help manage your child’s hemophilia and how you can help keep your child safe through the very active toddler and preschool years so you can let your child with hemophilia be just that — a child.
How will I know if my child has a bleed
Bleeds can happen in any part of the body, such as joints, muscles, the stomach area or head. If you have seen your child fall or get a bump, then you can check for a bleed. At other times, you may not be aware a bleed has happened, but you can watch for certain signs, such as:
- Fussier behavior than usual
- Not using the affected body part
- Protecting the affected body part
- Unusual amount of bruising
- Swelling – compare the affected body part with the opposite side to determine the extent of swelling
- Verbalizing the pain they are feeling
How can I help my child avoid or manage pain
Take steps to help your child avoid bumps or falls, and use protective padding when appropriate or advised.
Use gear (like helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and shin guards) to avoid injuries
- Avoid pain associated with the infusion process by using a topical anesthetic cream before needle sticks, if advised by your hematologist.
- Discuss treatment options with your hematologist to minimize risks of bleeding episodes while allowing your child to remain active.
- Ask your hematologist if you should use a pain-relief cream before your infusions to numb the area where the needle will be placed.
- Only give your child pain medication that has been prescribed or recommended by a healthcare professional who is familiar with the child’s bleeding disorder.
- Remember: Do not give any medication that contains aspirin or an NSAID (a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug). These drugs can prolong bleeding. Read the label on any medication you use to see what’s in it. Also, check with your pharmacist when a medication is prescribed. Aspirin also can be listed as ASA (acetylsalicylic acid).1
Living with your child’s hemophilia may be challenging, but it can be managed. Keep its impact to a minimum, and focus on the beautiful child in front of you. With knowledge and a supportive team on your side, watching your toddler play, grow and explore will provide one of life’s greatest rewards. As your child matures, learn additional valuable information available in the other life stages sections.
For additional information about hemophilia and your toddler’s development, pain management, nutrition, dental care and safety, download:
- 1Medical and Scientific Advisory Council of National Hemophilia Foundation. Recommendation #175: "Guidelines for emergency department management of individuals with hemophilia". October 2006. hemophilia.org/sites/default/files/document/files/175.pdf. Accessed Aug. 9, 2017."