Child care

How To Find the Causes of Bruising Easily in Children?

A few bumps and bruises are a normal part of childhood. Children fall down, bump into things, tousle with their siblings, and generally get into all kinds of mischief. However, if your child bruises easily for no reason, it can be a sign of a serious illness. If you notice frequent unexplained bruising, consult your pediatrician.

Boy with Bruised Knee

What are bruises?
A bruise is a contusion that results from blunt force impact. These marks show up relatively quickly after a blow, fall or kick and can be quite painful. The coloring is the result of broken blood vessels under the skin.  Most bruises are harmless and fade within ten days.

How do I treat bruises of my child?
If the bruises are swollen, you can try the following treatments:

  • Put a cold compress to the affected area for 15 minutes several times a day. Wrap the compress in a towel before putting it on the sensitive skin of children to prevent frostbite.
  • You can use some homeopathic remedies such as Traumeel ointment or Arnica globules from the pharmacy.
  • If your child’s bruise is painful, give him a children’s pain reliever or ibuprofen. Consult your pediatrician before using a new medication.
  • Comfort your child with love, hugs and kisses – the best medicine for minor childhood injuries.

Mother Washing Daughters Bruised Hand

What could be the causes when your child is bruising easily?
Even cases of unexplained bruising can be for relatively harmless reasons.

  • Assess your child’s medicinal intake. Aspirin and other blood thinners can lead to bruising easily.
  • Young children tend to bruise more easily because they have less fat underneath their skin. The fat beneath the skin acts as a layer of protection. Forearms, legs and feet are especially prone to bruising.
  • If bruising is common in your family, your child may be genetically predisposed to bruise easily.
  • Your child could be deficient in certain vitamins, like vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K and folic acid. Consider including pistachios, blueberries and broccoli for vitamin K; strawberries, citrus fruits and kiwis for vitamin C; dairy foods, eggs and fish for vitamin B12; and fresh juices and spinach for folic acids to your child’s diet to prevent bruises.

When should I consult a doctor?

  • If the bruises are caused because of a major accident, like a fall from the bed or on the stairs, you should see a health care professional. He or she will want to examine your child for less obvious injuries.
  • If your child hit his head and has a swelling behind the ear, go to the emergency room. Swelling could be an indication of a skull fracture.
  • If the bruise does not disappear within two weeks.
  • If your child is in pain for more than 24 hours.
  • If your child develops a fever.
  • If your child has many unexplained black-blue or purple spots and blotches for which you see no reason, it could be that your child tends to bleed. It can also be a side effect or a first sign of a serious disease like cirrhosis of the liver, lupus, leukemia, multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease.

Most bruises are not an indication of a serious condition. However, when in doubt, it is safer to consult your pediatrician.  .

References

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Children; National Kidney & Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC);

Bleeding Disorders; MedlinePlus;

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