What are the Symptoms of Jaundice in Infants?

What are the Symptoms of Jaundice in Infants?

Jaundice in infants, also known as neonatal jaundice, is a common condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes due to an excess of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. In most cases, neonatal jaundice is harmless and resolves on its own. However, severe jaundice can be a cause for concern. Symptoms of jaundice in infants may include:

  1. Yellowing of the Skin and Eyes (Icterus):
    • The most noticeable symptom is a yellowish tint in the skin and whites of the eyes.
  2. Yellowing Progression:
    • The yellowing typically starts on the face and then progresses downward to the chest, abdomen, legs, and feet.
  3. Pale Stool:
    • The stool may appear pale or clay-colored due to the increased bilirubin levels.
  4. Dark Urine:
    • The urine may appear darker in color than usual.
  5. Lethargy or Tiredness:
    • The infant may be less active or more lethargic than usual.
  6. Poor Feeding or Sucking:
    • Difficulty in feeding or sucking due to weakness or decreased appetite.
  7. High-Pitched Crying:
    • Unusually high-pitched crying or irritability.
  8. Difficulty in Awakening:
    • The baby may be difficult to wake up or be excessively sleepy.
  9. Poor Weight Gain:
    • Inadequate weight gain or failure to thrive.
  10. Arching of the Body:
    • Arching of the body, especially the head and neck, which can be a sign of severe jaundice affecting the brain (kernicterus).

It’s important for parents to monitor their newborn for signs of jaundice, especially in the first few days after birth. Mild jaundice usually resolves without treatment, but severe jaundice requires medical attention and may need phototherapy or other interventions to lower bilirubin levels. If you suspect jaundice in your infant, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.

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