Sickle Cell Disease
Home treatment for sickle cell disease includes steps to control pain and prevent complications of the disease. If you don't already have a home treatment plan, ask your doctor to help you make one. Use this plan whenever symptoms are present. Your plan may include tips for:
- Reference Managing pain.
- Reference Home treatment for prolonged erection of the penis (priapism).
- Reference Staying healthy.
- Reference Coping with stress and worry.
Managing a child's special needs
You can help your child cope with special needs in school by:
- Making arrangements with teachers or a tutor to help your child keep pace with classmates when illness causes absences from school.
- Explaining to teachers that children with sickle cell disease may need to use the bathroom more often than other kids. They also need more water than the other students. Not drinking enough water can raise the chance of a Reference sickle cell crisis Opens New Window.
- Educating teachers and other school employees about the signs and symptoms of sickle cell disease that need urgent medical care. Written instructions will help school personnel know what to do and who to call in an emergency.
Children with sickle cell disease can usually exercise and play normally if they:
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Lack of fluids (Reference dehydration Opens New Window) can cause cells to sickle.
- Get regular rest breaks during vigorous exercise.
- Stay warm. Exposure to cold air, wind, and water can trigger a sickle cell crisis. Dress children in warm layers of clothing for cold-weather activities. Your child should avoid swimming and playing in cold water.
Reference Folic acid Opens New Window supplements are often a necessary part of the diet for people with sickle cell disease, particularly if you aren't eating enough folate-rich leafy vegetables (such as spinach).
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 1, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Martin Steinberg, MD - Hematology