Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic disorder in the United States, much more common than people realize. There are about 100,000 people in the U.S. living with sickle cell: with a large part of that number being children.
Here are some tips on how to care for, or improve the care of a child living with Sickle cell disease.
Learn as much as you can about the disease as possible.
This will help with recognizing symptoms and allow you to seek treatment early.
Adopt or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Your child is watching, and as with any other learned behavior, having a healthy diet is a habit that can be taught early and a lesson that can last a lifetime.
Monitor physical activity.
Along with your Doctor decide what amount of physical activity is appropriate for your child. Most children can take part in exercise often but not always. The correct amount of sleep or rest is also essential to maintaining and promoting good health.
Practice prevention.
Infections pose a risk to maintaining good health. Teaching children small things like washing hands correctly and often, can make a big difference. Keeping necessary vaccines current and getting seasonal flu shots can aid your child’s body in fighting off common illnesses, and infections.
Look for, and find support.
Sickle cell disease can cause anxiety, stress, fear, and sometimes depression. Interacting with families that may have similar experiences and struggles can bring a sense of comfort to your own family. It can also provide the atmosphere necessary for your child to openly talk about their feelings and be understood.

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