Hepatitis in children

  • Symptoms of hepatitis in children
  • Viral lesion
  • Rare forms of
  • How does the disease occur in newborns?
  • Features of treatment
  • Related videos

Hepatitis in children is a group of diseases that cause an inflammatory reaction in the liver. They are divided into various forms: infectious, toxic, autoimmune, radiation, reactive.

A separate group includes physiological jaundice of newborns. The danger of ailment is connected with the fact that he can not manifest himself for a while. In this article, we will talk in more detail about the types of hepatitis in children and methods of struggle.

Symptoms of hepatitis in children

Symptoms of hepatitis in children may differ depending on the form of the disease. Nevertheless, experts distinguish common symptoms:

  • jaundice;
  • change in color of urine and feces;
  • skin itching;
  • nausea, vomiting;
  • appetite impairment;
  • diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain;
  • temperature increase;
  • worsening of sleep, weakness, tearfulness;
  • catarrhal phenomena similar to the influenza state.

Viral lesion

Viral hepatitis in children still causes a lot of controversy among scientists. Regardless of the type of viral infection, such hepatitis cause an increase in the liver, a violation of its functional activity and intoxication of the whole organism.

Important! Among infectious diseases, acute viral hepatitis is the third most common.

The virus can be transmitted from the mother of the child during childbirth or even during intrauterine development. Viral hepatitis in children are divided into the following forms:

  • A - infectious;
  • B - whey;
  • C - chronic;
  • D - causes a delta virus. Occurs in people who have experienced early viral inflammation of the liver;
  • E - is considered the most dangerous during pregnancy;
  • F, G, SEN, TTV are poorly understood viruses against which vaccination has not been developed.


Viral hepatitis A is called a disease of dirty hands. This is the most common form, but it has a favorable outlook. After the illness, the child develops a long-term immunity. The first signs can easily be confused with the influenza state. The child has a fever, with no signs of a cold. Also, there is weakness, aches in joints, chills, fever.

The disease begins with a general malaise

As the pathological process progresses, symptoms appear on the part of the digestive tract: bitterness in the mouth, as well as discomfort in the epigastrium and right hypochondrium. Also, the appetite worsens until completely disgusted. The child becomes listless, apathetic and drowsy.

Hepatitis A is transmitted through infected urine and feces. Children can drink contaminated water or eat food, which the patient touched with unwashed hands. In the delivery department, infection can occur when changing diapers on a changing table, on which the infected baby lay before.

The condition improves when the jaundice period occurs. Skin and mucous membranes acquire a yellow tint. Urine acquires a beer color, and feces, on the contrary, discolor. Children under one year of hepatitis A suffer extremely difficult. The disease begins with the appearance of jaundice.

In the prodromal period, the infant has a stool disorder, he reluctantly eats and often spits up. In most cases, the ailment begins with a sharp rise in temperature to a mark of 39 and even higher. The appearance of catarrhal symptoms may make early diagnosis difficult.

Important! If at least one child is ill in kindergarten, quarantine is declared for 35 days from the date of isolation of the sick child.

Despite the fact that hepatitis A is not considered dangerous, in comparison with other forms of the disease, the lack of timely medical care can lead to the development of dangerous consequences - liver failure and even death.

Vaccination is the best protection against hepatitis A

Prevention of disease is one of the priorities in pediatrics. Doctors unanimously state that the best prevention of Botkin's disease is vaccination. Currently, vaccination against hepatitis A is considered a guaranteed and the only method of protection. Yet vaccination is not mandatory for all children, it is recommended to be carried out in case of immediate threat of infection.

Consider these situations:

  • before a rest on the sea or a trip to hot countries inoculation is done in two weeks;
  • if the child has been in contact with the patient, then the vaccination is carried out within ten days;
  • in the diagnosis of hemophilia and serious liver diseases.

Before vaccination, the child is tested for antibodies to the virus. Indication for vaccination is the absence of these antibodies in the body. Their presence indicates either that the child has already had or already been vaccinated. It is impossible to get sick of Botkin's disease twice, so immunity is developed for life.

Where to get vaccinated? The vaccine is given intramuscularly, usually in the shoulder. Parents should be prepared for the fact that there may be side effects, namely:

  • nausea, vomiting;
  • diarrhea;
  • allergy;
  • anxiety, capriciousness;
  • injection site can blush, harden and itch. In this case, do not lubricate or glue the skin with a patch. If you vaccinate, nothing will happen;
  • increase in temperature. Doctors are allowed to give an antipyretic if the temperature has reached 38 degrees.

Vaccination against hepatitis A has a number of limitations. Consider the main contraindications: intolerance of the components that make up the vaccine, bronchial asthma, acute pathological processes in the body.


Symptoms of hepatitis B occur in three stages:

  • Prodromal. Temperature, headache, aches in the joints, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.
  • Jaundice. Yellowness is rare, but if it starts, it has a pronounced character. Children can bleed gums or even bleed their noses.
  • Recovery. This period lasts up to three months. The liver is enlarged in size, bile ducts and pancreas are affected.

A child may become infected in the womb

Infection occurs through sperm or blood during transfusion( transfusion).Perhaps intrauterine infection, as well as an infant can get infected while passing through the birth canal. Adolescents can become infected through unprotected intercourse.

A persistent viral infection can persist for a long time in biological fluids. In an acute period there are such symptoms: a nausea, vomiting, a change in taste in the mouth, bloating, pain in the upper abdomen, deterioration of appetite, icterus.

The risks of infection are very high, we can say that the spread of the infection becomes epidemic. The disease can go into a chronic form and lead to disability or even death. At risk are such children:

  • , the mother had serum hepatitis diagnosed;
  • a woman contracted a viral infection after 24 weeks of gestation;
  • a woman during pregnancy, in general, was not examined for hepatitis;
  • parents are addicts;
  • relatives with hepatitis B.
Important! Vaccination against hepatitis B is done in the first days of life. The vaccination is not given a one hundred percent guarantee that the child does not become infected. But the probability of this is negligible.

Even if the baby is sick, the illness will proceed in mild form and the healing process will come much faster. In view of the fact that serum hepatitis is a rather dangerous disease, there are three vaccination schemes:

How to treat hepatitis B?
  • Standard .How many vaccinations will be needed? First, the vaccine is given in the first days of life, then in a month and, finally, the third in six months.
  • Fast .It is prescribed for a high risk of infection. Immunity is formed instantly. The first vaccination is done in the first days of life, then in a month, two months and a year later. It turns out that you need to do four injections.
  • Emergency .It is used before urgent surgical intervention. It will take 4 inoculations: on the first day of life, in a week, after 21 days and after a year.

Vaccination can not be carried out in the following cases: allergy to baker's yeast, diathesis, infectious processes, autoimmune diseases, meningitis, increased reaction to the previous vaccination.


The disease is transmitted through infected blood. The use of disposable syringes and the study of donor blood before transfusion reduced the risk of transmission of the virus. The disease can occur in children with subtle symptoms: mild jaundice and general malaise.

Chronic hepatitis can cause severe liver damage and death

Virus transport is of great concern, in which there are no external manifestations, but the infection has a devastating effect on the liver. It's not for nothing that hepatitis C is called a "gentle killer."

And this is not only because he does not show himself for a long time. The patient can come back to normal tests, but this is only an imaginary recovery. Such a period can last several months, and then the infection again begins to attack the organ.


The source of the delta virus are patients, virus carriers and those who have antibodies. At risk are children under six years old. You can get infected in such cases:

  • use of non-sterile, reusable medical instruments;
  • for transfusion of infected blood;
  • from mother to child;
  • when blood gets into the wounds or mucous membranes.
Important! Vaccination against hepatitis D does not exist! The virus promotes malignancy of healthy cells.

The delta virus can not develop separately from hepatitis B. The carrier of two viruses causes superinfection, which further complicates the process. According to studies, cirrhosis in the attack of the delta virus occurs twice as fast, compared with other forms of viral hepatitis.

To date, there are no antiviral agents that would affect the delta virus. Interferon alfa only causes a therapeutic effect in twenty percent of cases, but when the drug is withdrawn, the disease returns again.

Delta virus causes cancerous degeneration of liver cells


The disease is common in countries with a hot climate. According to the mechanism of development and epidemiology, hepatitis E is similar to Botkin's disease, but scientists have not found any microbiological similarities. Viral infection dies during freezing, as well as exposure to chlorine and iodine. The main route of transmission is fecal-oral.

In its manifestations, the disease is similar to hepatitis A. The disease provokes acute hepatic insufficiency and is considered a transitory type of viral hepatitis. As with the delta virus, there is currently no specific treatment against hepatitis E. All patients receive interferon and ribavirin therapy. Children's hepatitis develops less often than in adults, but it is much more difficult.

Rare forms of

Consider the rarer forms of hepatitis. First, discuss the cytomegalovirus type.


According to statistics, about eighty percent of the world's inhabitants are carriers of this virus. When infiltrating the body, the infection remains there forever and manifests itself when the immune system weakens. The disease is transmitted by airborne, contact, sexual and blood transfusion.

The virus is able to penetrate the placental barrier. Infection is especially dangerous in the first trimester of pregnancy. Treatment of the disease includes a decrease in the activity of the virus and restoration of the liver. Antiviral agents are used for this purpose. With immunodeficiency, these drugs are used for life.


The development of the disease is associated with a violation of the immune response. The organism struggles with its own cells. Provoke the appearance of the disease can viral infection, as well as the intake of certain immune medications. Even there is a genetic predisposition to this type of viral infection. According to statistics, autoimmune hepatitis occurs in children from two to fourteen years of age.

An autoimmune process usually occurs in children after two years of

The acute process is characterized by the appearance of such symptoms:

  • abdominal pain on the right side;
  • temperature increase;
  • enlargement of small vessels on the face, arms and neck;
  • palms acquire a bright red color;
  • in adolescence, girls may stop menstruating;
  • in boys can have a painful increase in the mammary glands;
  • jaundice appears in later stages.


Occurs as a result of ingestion into children's body of toxic agents. It can be toxins of drugs, poisonous mushrooms or household chemicals. And more often toxic hepatitis appears from an oversight of the parents. The process is developing quite rapidly, so you should react in time to the first signs.

Toxic damage is manifested as follows: enlargement of the liver and spleen, pain in the region of the right hypochondrium, nausea and vomiting, fever, bleeding, enlargement of small vessels, icterus.

Toxic damage can cause medications, fungi, household chemicals and other


Occurs in the presence of a malfunctioning organ. The following factors can provoke the appearance of reactive changes:

  • endocrine disorders;
  • pulmonary disease;
  • dermatitis;
  • infectious processes;
  • is a neurological disease.

The disease can be asymptomatic and is detected purely by accident at a pediatrician's appointment. Unlike viral forms, reactive hepatitis does not cause serious disturbances and the process is not characterized by it.


The chronic process is indicated if the disease lasts more than six months. In the absence of treatment and compliance with the diet is fraught with the development of liver cirrhosis. Viruses, medicines, poisonous substances - all this and more can lead to chronic hepatitis.

The disease is manifested as follows:

  • of jaundice;
  • disorders in the work of the gastrointestinal tract;
  • discomfort in the right hypochondrium;
  • spider veins;
  • a tendency to bleeding.
See also:
Which blood counts indicate hepatitis C?
How to cure hepatitis C at home?

How does the disease occur in newborns?

Infection of infants usually occurs through the blood. Also, infection can occur during intrauterine development. Hepatitis in newborns has a number of features:

  • congenital hepatitis can already be subacute or even chronic;
  • disease often occurs as a mixed viral-microbial infection;
  • is often absent from the precocious period;
  • disease begins with a sudden rise in temperature;
  • because of catarrhal symptoms it is easy to miss an ailment, having written off it for a flu;
  • icteric period lasts a month and even more;
  • liver is abrupt and increased.
Important! Hepatitis in newborns is distinguished by the severity of the course.

Separately it is necessary to allocate physiological jaundice of newborns. In this case, the skin also turns yellow, but the reason is physiological processes, and not an attack of a viral infection. The process occurs on the second day and reaches its peak on the fifth-seventh day of life, after which it goes to a decline.

In this case, the general condition is not violated, the color of urine and feces is normal. Physiological jaundice is associated with the adaptation of the baby to the new conditions of life. As you get used, the jaundice of the skin goes away. The condition does not require any medical measures.

Physiological jaundice of newborns and hepatitis are two different things. In the first case, the dimensions of the liver do not change and the general condition is not violated

Features of treatment

Immediately it should be noted that each type of hepatitis has its own treatment characteristics. Despite the fact that there is no single curative program, there are general principles that we will consider:

  • bed rest. A child should not get out of bed, at least until the color of the urine is normalized;
  • health food. The diet should be enriched with vegetable fats, proteins, easily digestible carbohydrates, fermented milk products. Fried, fatty, spicy is strictly forbidden;
  • vitamins. It is better to give preference not to pharmacy chemicals, but to natural vitamins contained in vegetables, fruits, juices;
  • symptomatic treatment may include the use of sorbents, hepatoprotectors, antibiotics, corticosteroids and other agents;
  • cholagogue is prescribed for absolutely any form of hepatitis, but only during the recovery period!

Children with viral hepatitis are hospitalized in a hospital. In the hospital, children are housed separately to avoid cross-contamination. Home treatment is allowed with a mild form of Botkin's disease in older children.

So, whatever the causes of hepatitis in children, it should always be remembered that the appearance of jaundice is an important diagnostic criterion that will help to make a timely diagnosis. This symptom should not be ignored, but when it appears, you should immediately seek the help of a specialist.

Do not forget about preventive measures. Vaccination will help prevent the appearance of certain types of viral hepatitis. Early diagnosis and accurate follow-up of medical recommendations is the guarantee of your baby's health!

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