Pediatric Hepatitis A
What is hepatitis A?
Pediatric hepatitis A is a virus that causes a child’s liver tissue to swell and become inflamed.
How common is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is the most common and least serious of the pediatric forms of hepatitis. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a two-part vaccine typically administered when the child is 1 year or older.&
How do you get hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is contracted when a child comes in contact with an infected person’s stool or blood. It most commonly occurs in:
- Daycares, when employees come in contact with an infected child and change multiple diapers in succession without washing their hands.
- Restaurants, when an infected employee contaminates the food by not washing their hands after using the bathroom.
What are the symptoms for hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A can often be tricky to diagnose, as the symptoms typically appear two to six weeks after the child is exposed to the virus. This makes virus easier to spread among young children, as caregivers are often unaware their child has the condition.
Symptoms rarely appear in children under the age of 6. Children older than 6 with hepatitis A often exhibit flu-like symptoms, including:
- Abdominal pain over the liver
- Light-colored stool
- Urine that is dark in color