Acute Hepatitis In Children: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Hepatitis is a condition of inflammation in the liver. Here are the symptoms, causes and treatment of acute hepatitis in children. Read on.

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: May 18, 2022Updated at: May 18, 2022
Acute Hepatitis In Children: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It can destroy and damage the liver cells. Some of the current causes of Acute Hepatitis are happening due to Adenoviruses viral infection. Many a times a fewer children get infected due to this and end up with fulminant hepatitis, which will require a liver transplant. That is why it is very important for any child having jaundice or any liver disease to be monitored on a daily basis. Hepatitis is always considered as a minor illness. When were small as children almost all of us had some kind of jaundice. It last for about four to seven days in children and they recover uneventfully. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr. Abdul Bashir Khan, Senior Consultant Pediatrician, Masina Hospital, Mumbai, to know about the symptoms, causes and treatment of acute hepatitis in children.

Acute Hepatitis in children symptoms

acute hepatitis children

But as the medical field is advancing, doctors are able to pick up rare causes of Hepatitis as well. If the child has jaundice, the parents should make sure that they get the child checked by a doctor on a regular basis. It is mostly a minor illness and the child will recover uneventfully but there should be a regular followup with the doctor. According to Dr. Abdul, here are the symptoms of Acute Hepatitis in children: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Loss of Appetite 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Abdominal Pain 
  • Dark urine 
  • Jaundice 

Causes of acute hepatitis in children

The causes of Hepatitis in children are usually due to infections. Infections like Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E or the most common B and D are primarily because of blood or blood related products and also due to direct transmission from the mother. Hepatitis in children is mainly caused by viruses and these viruses include:

  • Hepatitis viruses: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are the 5 main types of Hepatitis virus 
  • Cytomegalovirus: This virus is from the herpes virus family
  • Herpes simplex virus: Herpes can affect the face, upper body skin, and the genitals
  • Varicella zoster virus (chickenpox): This virus causes hepatitis as a side effect. In children, however, this is extremely rare
  • Enteroviruses: This is a virus family that is commonly found in children. Coxsackie viruses and echo-viruses are among them
  • Rubella: This is a minor disease that results in a rash
  • Adenovirus: This is a group of viruses that causes childhood colds, tonsillitis, and ear infections. They can also lead to diarrhea
  • Parvovirus: This virus is responsible for the fifth disease. A slapped-cheek rash on the face is one of the symptoms

Treatment of Acute Hepatitis in Children 

acute hepatitis

Also read: Hepatitis: Be Safe From Viral Hepatitis With These Expert Tips

There are the standard precautions of clean water, good food, and healthy habits to prevent any type of liver infection. Helping to prevent the spread of viral hepatitis can be done by having good personal health (hygiene) habits, such as hand washing. The parents can immunize the child against the two most common viral infections of the liver that cause hepatitis A and B. Other types of viral hepatitis can be contracted from anywhere. There isn't much you can do to protect yourself from that. However, as previously stated, close correlation and follow-up of any child with any type of liver dysfunction goes a long way toward preventing morbidity and mortality. To stop your child’s liver from damage, your child’s treatment may include:

  • Medicines can be used to relieve itching, treat a virus, or manage an autoimmune disease 
  • Supportive care includes eating a nutritious diet and getting adequate rest
  • Reducing the risk is important and can be made sure by abstaining from alcohol and illegal drugs
  • Blood testing can indicate whether or not the disease is progressing
  • Hospital stay, but it is only done in extreme cases
  • Liver transplant is also done in cases of advanced liver failure

All image credits: Freepik