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Immune (Idiopathic) Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Pediatric)

Your child is diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). This blood disorder causes your child’s immune system to destroy his or her body’s own platelets (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 within a few months. Here's what you need to know about home care.


  • Don’t give your child the following medications, which interfere with blood clotting (unless approved by your child's health care provider):

    • Aspirin

    • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)

    • Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like naprosyn

    • Cough medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen

  • Don’t give your child any other medications without checking with your child’s health care provider first. This includes over-the-counter medications and any herbal remedies or supplements.

  • Give your child all medications exactly as directed.

Reducing the risk of bleeding

  • Talk to your child about ways he or she can avoid bruising or bumping the skin.

  • Be careful when using nail trimmers on your child.

  • Teach your child to blow his or her nose very gently (to avoid nosebleeds).

  • Use a cool steam vaporizer to keep the air inside your home moist enough to prevent nosebleeds, especially in 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 health care provider or dentist about getting a sponge toothbrush (instead of one with bristles). 

  • Speak to your child’s health care provider before allowing your child to participate in any sports or athletic activities that carry a risk of injury.

  • Inform your child’s school about your child’s condition. Ask your child’s health care provider to provide guidelines to the school about your child’s participation in activities and sports.

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


  • Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

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

When to call the health care provider

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



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