Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
A jaundiced child has yellowish skin and sclera (the white
part of the eyes). The most common cause of jaundice is
hepatitis (a liver infection). Usually these infections are
not serious, but they need to be evaluated by a physician.
This guideline does not address jaundice in newborns. For
information on this topic see Jaundice of the Newborn.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- Your child has vomited any blood.
- Your child is confused or difficult to awaken.
- Your child is acting very sick.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS ABOUT:
- All other children with jaundice.
CAROTENEMIA: THE JAUNDICE IMITATOR
Your child has carotenemia if the following are present:
- lemon-yellow coloration of the skin
- no yellow coloration of the sclera (white part of the
- high intake of yellow and green vegetables or fruits
(which all contain carotene)
- age under 2 years.
Carotenemia is harmless and temporary. The yellow color is
due to a pigment (carotene) found in yellow and green
vegetables, as well as fruits such as oranges, apricots, and
peaches. The intake of these vegetables and fruits needs to
be reduced only if you want to change your child's skin
tone. After a return to a more normal diet, the carotenemia
color will disappear in 3 or 4 weeks. Even without dietary
change, the skin color will gradually return to normal by 2
or 3 years of age.