Resources for Children
Sickle cell anemia (say: uh-NEE-mee-uh) is a disease of the blood. It gets its name because a person’s red blood cells are shaped like crescent moons, or a hook shape farm tool called sickle, instead of their usual round shape.
Round healthy red blood cells are round and have the healthiest shape for red blood cells because they can move easily through the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body, and every part of your body needs oxygen to work properly.
Red blood cells are made inside the bones in the soft, spongy area called the bone marrow. Every time you take a breath, you breathe in oxygen and your red blood cells carry oxygen to every cell in your body. When a person’s body doesn’t have enough red blood cells, it’s called anemia.
Sickle cells are shaped like sickles or crescent moons, they can get stuck inside smaller blood vessels. This keeps blood from flowing as it should, which can cause a lot of pain in areas of the body, especially in the bones. It is very important for all organs like the brain, heart, lungs and kidneys to have constant blood flow to work properly.
Achieve Goals While Living With Sickle Cell Anemia
Children living with sickle cell disease can live full lives and enjoy most of the activities that other people do, but it is important to be aware of things that can make children sick. It is also very important to follow health tips to help stay as healthy as possible. Seeing a doctor and having regular check ups is also necessary.