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Friday, September 10, 2010

Featured Condtion/Disease: Jaundice

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
More Information

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.

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