The symptoms of leukemia in children can vary a great deal depending on the child and type of leukemia present. The symptoms of chronic leukemia can take time to develop, while those of acute leukemia can show up overnight. Some symptoms may appear to be caused by common childhood disease and ailments.
Having any of the following symptoms doesn’t mean your child has leukemia, but it’s probably worth asking your doctor about. Here are five of the most common symptoms of leukemia in children.
The red cells present in blood help carry oxygen to the brain and other organs. Leukemia can crowd out the red blood cells in your child’s body, making their body work harder to distribute oxygen. This can lead to fatigue, dizziness and light-headedness.
2. Bone and Joint Pain
The build-up over time of blood cells that can cause anemia can also contribute to pain in a child’s bones and joints. Symptoms of leukemia in children may include lower back pain or pain in the legs that makes it difficult to walk.
3. Swollen Lymph Nodes
The job of the lymph nodes is to filter the blood running through your child’s body, so leukemia cells can overwhelm them and cause swelling. You can check for lymph node swelling under your child’s arms, in their neck, just above the collar bone and in the groin area.
4. Persistent Infections
Leukemia affects the white blood cells, which are necessary for fighting infections. Fighting off infections and becoming infected easily may be the sign of a compromised immune system due to leukemia.
5. Bruising and Bleeding
Leukemia in children often causes their blood to have low platelet counts. If your child bleeds more than expected or bruises easily, they could have a blood clotting problem.