Information for children

Here parents will find answers to questions about sickle cell disease

Hi, I’m Eddie Erdbeer. You can call me Super Ed. As your personal superhero, I am fighting sickle cell disease. But I’m going to need your help. So, I’m going to teach you everything I know about sickle cell disease. Are you ready?

What is sickle cell disease?

You were born with sickle cell disease. It means you cannot get it from other people, like a cold or flu.

What happens in your body?

Sickle cell disease affects your blood. Blood is a fluid in your body. It looks red and is pumped from your heart through small tubes throughout your body. These tubes are called blood vessels.

There are many different small particles in the blood. These include the red blood cells. They look like round discs. Their task is to supply the body with oxygen. Oxygen is in the air you breathe in, but it is so small that you cannot see it with your eyes. In order to stay active and fit your body needs oxygen just like it needs food and drink.

Sickle cell disease affects your red blood cells. They lose their round shape and take on the shape of a sickle. You can also find this shape in the starry sky.

Crescent Moon

When it is dark, you can see the moon in the sky. It is the brightest body at night. In the course of a month it changes its shape. When the moon is full it looks like a round disk, similar to healthy red blood cells.

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Full Moon

After a full moon, the part of the moon which we can see gets smaller and smaller. Before the moon disappears completely from the sky for a short time, you can see it in the shape of a crescent. This is how your red blood cells look.

The sickle-shaped blood cells are not as flexible as the healthy blood cells. Because of their shape they often get stuck in the blood vessels and prevent theblood from flowing properly.

Because of these blockages, some parts of the body cannot be supplied with oxygen. The undersupply of oxygen is painful and triggers so-called pain crises..

What can we do?

Together we can combat these pain crises, but I need your help. Will you support me in the fight against sickle cell disease? It is important that you take your medication regularly. Only then will Super Ed have enough strength to fight sickle cell disease.

But even without my help you can do a lot to help your blood flow better. For one thing, you should always drink enough water and avoid getting very cold or very warm. Especially in winter it is important that you always wear thick clothes so that you do not freeze. You should take small breaks when you are playing with your friends or in sports lessons if you notice that you are too much out of breath. Do you want me to tell you another secret? You not only have me, Super Ed, at your side, but also you have your parents, other members of your family and your friends. If you are in pain, you should tell them about it. Even though they know you very well, they can’t always know how you are really feeling. That is why you should talk to them if you are not feeling well. Together as a team we have the best chance to make you feel better.