Home treatment for
sickle cell disease includes steps you can take not
only to control pain symptoms but also to prevent some of the complications
caused by the disease. These complications include painful sickle cell crises.
Have a pain management plan
If you and your doctor have developed a pain management plan for home
treatment of symptoms, be sure to follow your plan.
For more information, see Sickle Cell Disease: Pain Management.
Prevent severe childhood infection
Give your child with sickle cell disease regular
doses of a prescribed
antibiotic until age 5.
Get your child
immunized on schedule. For more information, see the topic
Avoid contact with anyone suspected of having
fifth disease, which is caused by parvovirus.
A serious condition called aplastic anemia can develop.
Prevent adult infection
Check your immunization schedule and keep your immunizations up to date..
Prevent vision problems
Get routine eye exams as a child and as an adult. Early detection can help prevent vision problems.
For more information, see Sickle Cell Disease: Vision Problems.
Drink water and
other fluids. Drink enough so that your urine is light yellow or clear like water.
Drink extra fluids before, during, and after exertion and when in
the heat. Drink plenty of fluid if you have a fever or infection. Children should keep a water bottle with them during school, play,
Limit alcohol. Alcohol use can
Exercise with care
If you exercise strenuously, rest when you feel tired and drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Dehydration and reduced oxygen levels in a person's blood resulting from strenuous exercise may cause red blood cells to sickle.
Children with sickle cell disease can usually exercise
and play normally if they:
- Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. 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
sickle cell crisis. Dress children in warm layers of
clothing for cold-weather activities. Avoid swimming and playing in cold