Caring for Children With Bleeding Disorders

When your child is diagnosed with a bleeding disorder, you are suddenly faced with both physical and emotional challenges. As a parent, you want to keep your children safe while letting them explore the world and test their boundaries in a healthy way. However, certain types of physical play could be dangerous to a child with a bleeding disorder.

The good news is that there are plenty of activities and sports that are safe for children with bleeding disorders. Once you and your child learn how to recognize the signs of bleeding and take the necessary precautions, your child can do almost anything.

Before engaging in any type of physical activity, always consult with a healthcare professional to make sure that the activity is right for you.

Tips for Parents and Children

The guidelines below can help your child enjoy an active childhood.

Be prepared

  • Find out all you can about treatments, bleeding prevention, and what to do during emergencies
  • Know the signs of bleeding to look for in your child and keep cold packs in the freezer for bumps and bruises
  • Put together a “care package” for use in an emergency situation; include anything your child might need for a trip to the hospital

Get support

If your child experiences emotional or social problems, there are professionals and programs that can help both you and your child:

  • Visit a hemophilia treatment center (HTC) where a social worker can help with any concerns
  • Join a support group for children with bleeding disorders and their loved ones
  • Consider a camp for children with hemophilia, so your child will be surrounded by and learn from others who face similar challenges

Tell others

Inform anyone who takes care of your child about his or her condition—including signs to look for and what to do in case of a bleeding episode, whether it’s minor or major.

Such caregivers may include:

  • Babysitters
  • Teachers and day care staff
  • Coaches
  • School nurses
  • Parents of your child’s friends

You can also have your child wear a medical identification bracelet or carry a first-aid card. To make this easier, download and customize a first-aid card.

Play it safe

Many physical activities and sports are safe for children with bleeding disorders, although this depends on the severity of your child’s condition.

Consult our list of safe activities. Children should wear protective gear (such as helmets and knee and elbow pads) during activities that carry a higher risk of injury. Always consult a healthcare professional before undertaking any physical activity.