Hepatitis in children is known to have different causes and origins. Your child may contract the disease if exposed to a viral source.
Hepatitis is a kind of medical term that involves inflammation of the liver. The most common types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C that have different symptoms and causes associated with them.
3 Types Of Hepatitis:
As parents, it is always better to be armed with proper knowledge. Here you can take a detailed look into the different types of child Hepatitis.
1. Hepatitis A:
Hepatitis A in children spreads through oral-fecal contact or fecal-infected water and food. It also spreads through blood, though this is very rare.
Here are some ways this hepatitis spreads:
- If your child consumes food prepared by an infected person, whose hands were not washed properly.
- If your child drinks water contaminated with feces. This has become a menacing problem in countries with poorly developed sewage system.
- If your child plays with dirty contaminated paper and then touches his or her mouth with the same hands.
- Outbreaks are also common in the childcare centers.
- It is common in case of international travels.
- Children with blood clotting disorder or hemophilia may develop this disease.
- Children with chronic liver disease may develop this disease.
- Vaccines are generally not recommended to children below 12 months.
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2. Hepatitis B:
This is associated with plenty of clinical representations. The symptoms of hepatitis B in children can be mild and shows no major symptoms. Children infected with hepatitis B are prone to develop liver failure and liver disease. It is common for infants to develop this disease, if mother carries the virus.
The following are the risk factors that increase chances of hepatitis B in children:
- Children who are born to mothers with hepatitis B.
- Children born to mothers who have traveled from country where this disease is widespread.
- Children living in homes where others are infected.
- Children who require dialysis for failure of kidney.
- Children are now recommended to have Hepatitis B vaccine during the time of birth.
3. Hepatitis C:
The symptoms of hepatitis C in children are mild and gradual. In some cases your child may not show any of the symptoms. Here are the cases when the risks of developing hepatitis C in children increase:
- Children who need dialysis for kidney failure.
- Children born to mothers with this disease.
- Children with blood clotting disorder like hemophilia.
It is very important that you take your child for regular treatments in this case and monitor the liver functioning from time to time. Since hepatitis is communicable and results from a virus, it is definitely a matter of concern. Liver failure in some cases may even lead to death.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis In Children:
Following are some of the hepatitis symptoms in children that you should be careful of. However, you need to remember that children may not exhibit any symptom at all:
- Flu like symptoms
- Reduced appetite
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal pain
- Dark colored urine
- Itchy skin
- Sore muscles
Treatment For Hepatitis In Children:
When it comes to the treatments, your child’s medical history, the overall health and age are taken into consideration. Other factors that are considered are:
- Your preference and opinion.
- Your expectations from the treatment.
- Tolerance of your child to specific therapies, procedures and medicines.
- Extent of disease.
The goal of the treatment procedure is to stop liver damage and reduce the associated symptoms. Following treatments are suggested:
- Supportive care that includes rest and healthy diet.
- Antiviral medications in case it is a virus.
- Interferon drug therapy or “biologic response modifier”, that affects role of the virus and immune system.
- Regular blood tests.
- Liver transplantation.
- Proactive nutrition support.
[ Read: Best Nutritious Foods For Kids ]
There are vaccines available for hepatitis A and hepatitis B that can be one of the most effective preventive measures that you must consider. Immunoglobulin or antibody preparation can help when your child is exposed to hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Make sure to stay in touch with your doctor at every point of time.
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References : 1 , 2
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