People living with sickle cell disease can live full lives and enjoy most activities that others do. Below are some tips to help you or someone you know with sickle cell stay healthy:
- Find good medical care – Sickle cell is a complex disease. It’s best to visit a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases) for care. They know a lot about the disease and this would prevent any serious problems later on.
- Get regular checkups – Get regular checkups with a primary doctor.
- Newborns to age 1 should get checkups every 2 to 3 months.
- Children ages 1 to 2 should get checkups at least every 3 months.
- Children and adults ages 2 and up should get a checkup at least once a year.
- Prevent infections – Such illnesses, like the flu, can become dangerous to a child with sickle cell. You can help keep them safe by getting them the flu shot and making sure that they always wash their hands.
- Learn healthy habits – People living with sickle cell disease should drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Children can participate in physical activity to stay healthy. It’s important that they also drink plenty of water, rest when tired and don’t over do it.
- Get support – Find local support groups that can provide information, assistance and support.