When is my child’s bruise cause for concern?
Children get bumps and bruises. That is just part of being a kid. But when should you be concerned about a bruise? Leslie Gilbert, MD, offered some advice.
“It is normal for children to have flat bruises over their shins and other bony areas, such as their elbows and forearms. This is just part of healthy play and they resolve normally. Bruises should be a concern when they occur in areas such as the back, stomach or bottom, when they occur without any known trauma or when they are not flat,” said Dr. Gilbert.
If your child is experiencing these types of bruises, they could be a sign of a bleeding disorder. Bleeding disorders are a group of diseases that lead to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising. A bleeding disorder affects the way your blood would normally clot.
Dr. Gilbert said individuals with bleeding disorders can experience certain symptoms, including:
- Increased and spontaneous bruising
- Increased nose bleeds
- Petechiae (small red dots on the skin)
- Bleeding after dental or surgical procedures
- Frequent and prolonged nosebleeds
- Heavy menstrual periods
“Diagnosis of a bleeding disorder can often be missed or delayed as symptoms may just be classified as “easy bruising” or “easy bleeding” without further evaluation,” said Dr. Gilbert.
While some bleeding disorders develop over time, others are hereditary. Some individuals with certain bleeding disorders are encouraged to follow activity restrictions to avoid severe injury and bleeding, including avoiding contact sports such as football.
Dr. Gilbert said a child who persistently has large, knotted bruises (hematomas) that occur without any known trauma should be evaluated. If your child’s bruises are associated with other bleeding symptoms such as nosebleeds that are frequent and prolonged, gum bleeding, heavy menstrual periods, history of increased bleeding after surgery or a procedure, then you should talk to your primary care doctor.
“Diagnosis and treatment are key for managing bleeding disorders,” said Dr. Gilbert.
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