Sickle Cell Anemia in Children: Symptoms and Treatment In Toddlers

Question: My boy is 2 and half years old and has sickle cell anemia. A few days ago he was diagnosed as having Malaria and was also found to have a HB of 5. Is it possible to raise his HB level through dietary means without him being transfused? Is that level too low for him to warrant an urgent blood transfusion?
Answer: Sickle cell anemia is a type of anemia which is inherited and there is an abnormal form of hemoglobin called hemoglobin S found in people suffering from it.

It is passed from generation to generation. The red blood cells are of sickle shaped and therefore the name sickle cell.

Both the parents of the baby carry the sickle cell genes if the baby is born with sickle cell anemia.

Your child is suffering from malaria where there is destruction of red cells and he is having low hemoglobin level, so it is a delicate health situation, looking at his clinical condition your doctor will advise whether he needs a blood transfusion.

Meanwhile you can follow the home remedies for sickle cell anemia in toddlers give below.

Symptoms of Sickle Cell Anemia in Toddlers

  • The onset of clinical manifestation can be in first 10 years of the child.
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain in joint
  • Pain in joints of finger and toes. Even swelling may be present.
  • Pain in abdomen and tenderness
  • Jaundice
  • Enlarged spleen
  • Nocturnal bed wetting
  • Problem in vision due to the sickle cell getting plugged in the tiny wall of the ratinal vessels.

Children suffering from sickle cell anemia are more prone to bacterial sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis.

Complications include stroke, pneumonia, organ failure like kidney damage, blindness, skin ulcers, painful erections in males and gall stone.

Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia in Children

Children with sickle cell anemia can follow this suggestion to stay healthy

  • Include diet containing more folic acid, green vegetable, spinach soup, carrots,
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids to keep the child hydrated, it dilutes the blood and reduce the chances of forming sickle cell.
  • Extreme cold or heat should be avoided as this will concentrate the hemoglobin and form the sickle cell.
  • Ask your doctor before taking any over the counter medication.
  • Avoid high altitude regions as oxygen is less in that atmosphere.
  • Give beetroot juice as it increases the hemoglobin in natural way.
  • Give dried figs boiled in milk, dry figs is an important home remedy for sickle cell anemia.