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Immune (Idiopathic) Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Child)

Your child is diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP ). This blood disorder causes your child’s immune system to destroy their own platelets. Platelets are cells that help stop bleeding. As a result, your child may have a higher risk for bleeding. Even without treatment, most children recover from ITP in a few months. Here's what you need to know about home care.


  • Don’t give your child the following medicines unless your child's healthcare provider tells you to. These medicines interfere with blood clotting:

    • Aspirin

    • Ibuprofen

    • Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as naproxen

    • Cough medicines that contain aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Don’t give your child any other medicines without checking with your child’s healthcare provider first. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines. It also includes any vitamins, herbs, or supplements.

  • Give your child all medicines exactly as directed.

Reducing the risk of bleeding

Follow these tips:

  • Talk to your child about ways they can prevent bruising or bumping the skin.

  • Be careful when using nail trimmers on your child.

  • Teach your child to blow their nose very gently so that they won't get a nosebleed.

  • If your child has frequent nosebleeds, use a cool steam vaporizer to keep the air moist inside your home. This is especially true for your child’s bedroom.

  • Make sure your child wears hard-soled shoes when outside.

  • If your child has problems with bleeding gums, ask your child’s healthcare provider or dentist about getting a sponge toothbrush instead of one with bristles. 

  • Talk with your child’s provider before allowing your child to take part in any sports or athletic activities that carry a risk of injury.

  • Tell your child’s school about your child’s condition. Ask your child’s provider to give guidelines to the school about your child’s participation in activities and sports.

  • Tell your child’s dentist that your child has ITP before any procedures.


Here are suggestions for follow-up care:

  • Make a follow-up appointment with your child's healthcare provider, or as directed.

  • Keep all follow-up appointments. Your child’s provider will need to watch your child’s blood platelet count closely.

When to call the healthcare provider

Call your child’s provider right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Easy bruising

  • Bleeding for no clear reason

  • Heavy bleeding or bleeding that lasts longer than normal, including heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding

  • Tiny areas of pinpoint bleeding on (or just under) the skin of the arms or legs

  • Blood in the urine or stool

  • Bleeding from the nose or gums

  • Headaches

  • Confusion

  • Head trauma or injury

  • Any major injury

  • Vision changes

  • Stiff neck

Online Medical Reviewer: Adam Levy MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Turley Jr PA-C
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2021
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.