White blood cells are the body’s warriors and soldiers. These white blood cells hold the important function of fighting against the body’s infection. Lowered white blood cell counts can put the child at risk for infection. There are many factors that cause a decrease in white blood cells in children. Treatment and prevention is important to keep the child in good health.
Low White Blood Cells in Children
- White blood cells are also known as leukocytes.
- Its main function is to combat against diseases that can cause infection in the body.
- Normal white blood cell count in children ranges from 4,300 to 10,800 per micro-liter of mcL of blood.
- Anything below that amount for children is considered abnormal.
- Lowered white blood cell count in children is indicative of a variety of diseases.
- A low WBC count can indicate a lowered count of different types of white blood cells including leukocytes, neutrophils, and granulocytes.
- Leukopenia is defined as a decrease in the total number of a child’s white blood cells.
- Neutropenia is defined as a decrease in neutrophils in the body.
- Granulocytopenia another term commonly used for neutropenia.
Causes of Low WBC in Children
Several factors have been shown to lower a child’s white blood count.
- Presence of parasitic diseases, vitamin deficiencies, and aplastic anemia.
- Chemotherapy treatments
- Radiation treatments
- Viral infection
- Certain medications
- Overactive thyroid
- Bone marrow dysfunction
- Immune system dysfunction
- Presence of medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, leukemia, arthritis, lupus, Kostmann’s syndrome, splenomegaly, and myelofibrosis.
Before reacting to a low blood cell count result in children, ask the doctor first of the definitive cause behind it. The child can be subjected to several tests in order for the doctor to rule out any diseases that may be a cause for alarm in parents.
Treatment and Home Remedies to Increase WBC
Treatment is aimed at restoring white blood cell count to normal levels.
- Treating the underlying disease causing a drop in white blood cell count.
- Eating a nutritious and balanced diet.
- Taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Follow chemotherapy precautions.
Home remedies are aimed at preventing infection and other complications when white blood cell count is low.
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid contact with sick individuals.
- Avoid dental procedures.
- Carefully observe for any unusual signs and symptoms.
- Avoid unnecessary stress.
- Receiving moderate exercise regularly.
- Getting sufficient sleep.
- Avoid eating raw, uncooked foods.
- Wash foods thoroughly prior to eating.
- Do not cross-contaminate food.
- Do not share food and utensils with any other person.
- Wash hands thoroughly after handling pets and animals.
- Avoid farm and barnyard environments.
The bottom line when dealing with children with lowered white blood cell counts is to follow doctor’s prescription while also being proactive in watching over the child until his or her white blood cell count reaches normal limits.