Jaundice in Children: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Jaundice in Children: Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

Jaundice is a common condition in children characterized by a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes due to an excess of bilirubin in the blood. It can be caused by various factors, with viral infections being a significant contributor. In this blog, we will explore the causes, treatment options, and preventive measures for jaundice in children, with a particular emphasis on the importance of Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B vaccines in reducing the risk of these viral infections.

Causes of Jaundice in Children
Viral Infections:

a. Hepatitis A: This is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver and can lead to jaundice in children. It spreads through contaminated food, water, or close contact with an infected person.
b. Hepatitis B: Another viral infection affecting the liver, Hepatitis B can be transmitted from mother to child during childbirth or through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids.

Newborn Jaundice:
Newborns often experience jaundice during their first week of life due to an immature liver that struggles to break down excess bilirubin. This type of jaundice is usually temporary and resolves on its own.

Hemolytic Anemia:
In some cases, jaundice can result from increased breakdown of red blood cells, leading to a rise in bilirubin levels.

Inherited Conditions:
Certain genetic disorders like Gilbert's syndrome can cause mild, chronic jaundice in children.

Treatment of Jaundice in Children

Addressing the Underlying Cause:
The treatment plan will depend on the cause of jaundice. For viral hepatitis, supportive care such as rest, proper hydration, and nutrition is essential.


Phototherapy is commonly used to treat newborn jaundice. Special lights are used to help break down bilirubin in the baby's skin.

Blood Transfusions:
In severe cases of hemolytic anemia or other conditions causing excessive bilirubin buildup, blood transfusions may be necessary.

What to do if a child has jaundice: If your little one has jaundice, it's most likely viral hepatitis. With a few simple steps, you can take care of your child at home and prevent complications

1. Feed your child more frequently , every 3-4hours. As liver is not working properly, we need to eat more frequently to keep our blood sugars within normal range. 

2. Give them light diet like rice, buttermilk, soup. Kids with hepatitis have a very poor appetite so you might need to offer them repeatedly.

3. Adequate rest is important to facilitate recovery

Give them medicines prescribed by doctor

5. Contact your doctor immediately in case of following symptoms

a. Child not eating anything
b. You find some red rash on the skin or bleeding from any place like nose or blood in vomit or poop.
c. You child is constipated. Bowel movement is important to flush out toxins from the body. If a  child with hepatitis  is constipated, high bilirubin may affect his brain.

. If child is excessively sleepy or she is staying awake at night while sleeping through the day, you need to go to hospital urgently. This means that jaundice has started affecting her brain and might be dangerous.

Prevention of Jaundice in Children: 
Hepatitis in children may be troublesome. What if we tell you that vaccines are available to prevent this infection!!
Read on to know how can we prevent it.

1. Hepatitis A Vaccine:
The Hepatitis A vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent Hepatitis A in children. The vaccine is typically administered in two doses, the first at age 12months and the second dose six to 18 months later. This vaccine not only protects children from jaundice but also prevents the spread of the virus to others.

2. Hepatitis B Vaccine:

The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants and children to protect them from Hepatitis B. The standard schedule includes three doses, typically given shortly after birth and completed by age 6 to 18 months. This vaccine is vital in preventing long-term liver damage, cirrhosis, and even liver cancer caused by Hepatitis.

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