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 develop one. Use this plan whenever
symptoms are present. Your plan may include:
Children with sickle cell disease need
standard immunizations, such as pneumococcal and flu
shots. Also, children younger than 5 years need to take a daily
antibiotic, such as penicillin, to prevent
Special needs of people living with sickle cell disease
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
sickle cell crisis.
- 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
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 (dehydration) can cause cells to sickle.
- Get regular rest breaks during vigorous exercise.
- Stay warm. Exposure to cold air, wind, and water can trigger a
painful event. Dress children in warm layers of
clothing for cold-weather activities. Avoid swimming and playing in cold
Folic acid 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).