We are featuring a childhood/infant disease or condition informational post every other Friday. Today's topic is Jaundice.
Jaundice is the yellow color seen in the skin of many newborns. It happens when a chemical called bilirubin builds up in the baby’s blood. Jaundice can occur in babies of any race or ethnicity, regardless of skin color. Low levels of bilirubin are not a problem, but a few babies have too much jaundice. If not treated, high levels of bilirubin can cause brain damage and a life-long condition called kernicterus. Yet, early detection and management of jaundice can prevent kernicterus. At a minimum, babies should be assessed for jaundice every 8 to 12 hours in the first 48 hours of life and again before 5 days of age.
Ask your pediatrician to see your baby the day you call, if your baby
- Is very yellow or orange (skin color changes start from the head and spread to the toes)
- Is hard to wake up or will not sleep at all
- Is not breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle well
- Is very fussy
- Does not have enough wet or dirty diapers
Get emergency medical help if your baby
- Is crying inconsolably or with a high pitchIs arched like a bow (the head or neck and heels are bent backward and the body forward)
- Has a stiff, limp, or floppy body
- Has strange eye movements
To get more information about Jaundice, go here.
*Most of the information provided here is from the CDC site, click here to visit their site.