About Jaundice

Infant jaundice is a common condition that typically affects preterm (premature) babies. Angel Kids Pediatrics, with multiple locations in Jacksonville, Amelia Island, and St. Johns, Florida, provides high-quality care for infant jaundice so you, and your little one, can rest easy. Call 904-224-KIDS (5437) today to schedule an appointment for your child today or book easily using the online tool. 

Jaundice Q & A

What is infant jaundice?

Infant jaundice causes a yellow discoloration of your baby’s skin and eyes. It occurs when there are high levels of bilirubin –– a yellow pigment of red blood cells –– in your child’s bloodstream.

Often, jaundice affects babies who are born prematurely. Infants’ livers don’t finish growing until two years after birth and aren’t mature enough to filter bilirubin from the blood.

Infant jaundice typically isn’t serious, but in certain instances, it may increase the risk of brain damage.

What are the symptoms of infant jaundice?

The most common symptoms of infant jaundice are yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes within two or four days of birth.

You can check for jaundice by gently pressing on your baby’s forehead or nose. If their skin looks yellow when pressed, they may have mild jaundice. 

What causes jaundice?

Jaundice commonly occurs because of excess bilirubin, but it can also develop because of diseases and other conditions, including:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Liver malfunction
  • Enzyme deficiency
  • An abnormality in your baby’s red blood cells

Regardless of the underlying cause, if your baby has yellow skin, it’s crucial to seek treatment.

When should I see a pediatrician about infant jaundice?

All newborns are screened for jaundice at the hospital before discharge. However, you should contact the team at Angel Kids Pediatrics immediately if your child has any of the following symptoms:

  • The skin on your baby’s legs, arms, or abdomen is yellow
  • Your baby isn’t gaining weight
  • Your baby makes high-pitched cries
  • Your baby is lethargic or difficult to awaken

These signs may indicate severe jaundice and require prompt treatment.

How is jaundice diagnosed?

Your pediatrician reviews your child’s health charts and examines their skin and eyes, looking for a visible yellow tint. Then, they complete a physical exam and order bloodwork to measure the level of bilirubin in your baby’s blood. 

If your child’s pediatrician thinks the jaundice is caused by an underlying health problem, they  might order additional testing as well. 

How is jaundice treated?

The team at Angel Kids Pediatrics offers several types of jaundice treatment, including:

  • Enhanced nutrition
  • Light therapy (phototherapy)
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg)
  • Exchange transfusion

When caught early on and treated, it’s possible to prevent jaundice from worsening.

Call the nearest Angel Kids Pediatrics office to learn more about the treatments for jaundice today, or request an appointment online.