Hemophilia is a genetic disorder that prevents blood from clotting properly. People with hemophilia may bruise and bleed easily, and they may bleed a lot or for a long time after an injury. Bleeding can occur anywhere in the body, including in the joints, muscles, brain, or digestive tract. Some people have mild hemophilia, some moderate, and some more severe.
Hemophilia is rare and affects mostly males: Only about 1 in every 5,000 to 10,000 boys are born with it. In rare cases, girls are born with the disease. Hemophilia can affect people of any race or nationality.
Symptoms of hemophilia include:
Students with hemophilia may:
Any injury to a student with hemophilia, especially to the head, should be treated as an emergency — get medical assistance immediately. Make sure your students with hemophilia have individualized care plans and be prepared to respond in accordance with the plan.
Allow assignments and class work to be made up at home in cases of absences or missed class time. In some cases, homebound instruction or tutoring might be appropriate.
Exercise is important for kids and teens with hemophilia because it makes their muscles stronger, which protects the joints. Contact sports are not safe, but they can participate in a variety of activities. Discuss with your students' parents which physical activities are allowed and which are off limits.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2013
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