Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Evaluation Treatment Home Care abdominal pain liver diet vomiting warning signs Underlying Cause

Jaundice in Children Home Care

Home care for a child with jaundice includes:

Jaundice in Children Abdominal Pain

Home care for abdominal pain in children with jaundice include:

  • Avoid aspirin, spicy foods and caffeine.
  • Avoid exposing the child to cigarette smoke.
  • Avoid enemas and laxatives.
  • Try a heating pad or hot water bottle on the abdomen, or a warm bath.
  • Drink clear liquids only and avoid dairy products for 24 hours. Then slowly advance to a soft diet before returning to solid foods.
  • For vomiting, take small but constant sips of water until vomiting stops.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Children over the age of 12 can try an acid-blocker medicine, such as:
  • Try an antacid medication such as:
  • Take prescription medications as directed.

Jaundice in Children Liver Diet

A child with jaundice may benefit from a liver disease diet.

Liver Disease Diet
A liver disease diet includes:

  • High carbohydrate intake: bread, pasta and grains
  • Moderate to high fat intake. The increased carbohydrate and fat help in preserving the protein in the body and prevent muscle wasting.
  • Restrict protein to 1 gram of protein per kilogram (2 pounds) of body weight per day.
  • Restrict salt to no more than 2 grams per day.
  • Provide vitamin B supplements

Key Dietary Recommendations for Chronic Disease Prevention
NutrientRecommendation
Energy (calories)to maintain BMI < 25
Total fats< or = to 30% of total daily calories
Saturated fats< 7% of total daily calories
Polyunsaturated fats< 10% of total daily calories
Monounsaturated fats< 13% of total daily calories
Cholesterol< or = to 300 mg per day
Dietary fiber25-30 grams per day
Fiber type3:1 insoluble to soluble fiber
Sodium< or = to 1,500 mg per day
Calcium 9-24 yrs1,200-1,500 mg per day
Calcium 25-50 yrs1,000 mg per day
Calcium 51-65 yrs1,200 mg per day
Calcium >65 yrs1,500 mg per day
Vitamin D 9-50 yrs200 IU per day
Vitamin D 51-70 yrs400 IU per day
Vitamin D >70 yrs600 IU per day
Folic acid400 micrograms (ug) per day
Fruits & vegetables5-7 servings per day

Jaundice in Children Vomiting

Home treatment of vomiting in children with jaundice includes hydration and dietary therapy. Those who are able to drink liquids can restore lost water and salt with oral rehydration therapy (ORT).

ORT fluids used in infants include:

  • Infalyte
  • Lytren
  • Naturalyte
  • Pedialyte
  • Rehydralyte

ORT fluids used in older children include:
  • Sports drinks (Gatorade)
  • Broth
  • Dilute fruit juices
  • Flat soda
  • Weak tea with sugar

Strategies for breast-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates breast milk, continue breast-feeding in small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to supplement breast milk.
  • Feed very small amounts every 30-60 minutes, or try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for formula-fed infants younger than 6 months:
  • If the infant tolerates formula, continue to provide small amounts very frequently.
  • Provide additional ORT fluids to formula.
  • Try giving small amounts more frequently, such as:
    • Children up to 5 kg (11 lb): give 5 ml (1 teaspoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 5-10 kg (11-22 lb): give 10 ml (2 teaspoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Strategies for children over 6 months:
  • Provide as much ORT fluids as your child desires.
  • If vomiting occurs, provide small amounts of ORT fluids more frequently:
    • Children 10-20 kg (22-44 lb): 15 ml (1 tablespoon) every 5 minutes
    • Children 20-40 kg (44-88 lb): 22 ml (1 and 1/2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
    • Children 40 kg (88 lb) and over: 30 ml (2 tablespoons) every 5 minutes
  • Watch for dehydration: dry mouth, decreased urination, dark yellow urine and lack of tears.

Dietary Therapy
Most children with vomiting improve in a few hours and symptoms usually resolve in one day. Once vomiting and nausea resolves, provide bland foods first. If bland foods are tolerated, then you resume a normal diet.

Foods that are easiest to tolerate include:
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Jell-O
  • Soft foods
  • Yogurt

Foods to avoid include:
  • Concentrated fruit juices
  • Junk foods
  • Milk products
  • Recently introduced foods
  • Spicy foods

Nonprescription medicines for vomiting should only be used under the direction of your doctor.

Jaundice in Children Warning Signs

Continue to Jaundice in Children Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Dec 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Jaundice in Children References
  1. Ahlfors CE, Wennberg RP. Bilirubin-albumin binding and neonatal jaundice. Semin Perinatol. 2004 Oct;28(5):334-9. [15686264]
  2. Moyer V, Freese DK, Whitington PF, Olson AD, Brewer F, Colletti RB, Heyman MB; North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. Guideline for the evaluation of cholestatic jaundice in infants: recommendations of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Aug;39(2):115-28. [15269615]
  3. Pitiakoudis M, Mimidis K, Tsaroucha AK, Papadopoulos V, Karayiannakis A, Simopoulos C. Predictive value of risk factors in patients with obstructive jaundice. J Int Med Res. 2004 Nov-Dec;32(6):633-8. [15587757]
  4. Szabo P, Wolf M, Bucher HU, Haensse D, Fauchere JC, Arlettaz R. Assessment of jaundice in preterm neonates: comparison between clinical assessment, two transcutaneous bilirubinometers and serum bilirubin values. Acta Paediatr. 2004 Nov;93(11):1491-5. [15513578]
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