Support for Crohn’s Disease in Children

Specialists at the Pediatric Gastroenterology Program at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone provide ongoing support to children with Crohn’s disease. These experts include gastroenterologists, ostomy nurses, wellness experts, psychologists, and social workers.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Because Crohn’s disease can cause diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms, children with this condition may require frequent visits to the bathroom. It’s important to schedule more time for bathroom breaks and to locate restrooms prior to beginning activities away from home. You may wish to travel with moist wipes and a change of clothes for your child.

School Support

Crohn’s disease symptoms and treatments can cause your child to be frequently absent from school. You may wish to contact school officials to determine any accommodations your child needs at school or related to school work. These accommodations may be formally detailed in a 504 plan, which provides special provisions such as additional time allotted for bathroom visits and to complete or make up homework assignments and tests.

Psychological Support

Living with Crohn’s disease can take an emotional toll on children and their families. Because this condition often involves flare-ups between periods of remission, maintaining a regular schedule at school and in your child’s activities can be challenging.

Our psychologists and social workers offer psychological and emotional support. Services also include counseling sessions for children and siblings to prepare for a visit to the hospital.

Immunizations

Because some medications that are used to treat children with Crohn’s disease can suppress the immune system, your child’s doctor may recommend a customized immunization schedule for the polio, chickenpox, and measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines. Some vaccinations may be given prior to the start of treatment, and others may be postponed until remission occurs.

Doctors may also recommend that children with Crohn’s disease receive immunizations for pneumonia, shingles, and the flu. In addition, they may suggest that adolescents with this condition receive immunizations typically administered during the preteen and teen years, including vaccinations against meningitis, hepatitis B, and human papillomavirus (HPV).

Wellness Programs

Our experts offer integrative health therapies—including creative art therapy, pet therapy, and yoga—to your child and family. These therapies are designed to reduce levels of stress and improve overall wellbeing.

Genetic Counseling

When a child has Crohn’s disease, another member of the family may be more likely to develop this chronic condition. NYU Langone genetic counselors are available to discuss this risk, answer any questions, and provide your family with support.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

After a child has Crohn’s disease for eight or more years—particularly when the entire large intestine is involved—a screening colonoscopy for colorectal cancer is often recommended. This screening, which occurs every year to two years, helps to identify any dysplasia, a precancerous condition that can lead to colorectal cancer.

During a colonoscopy, a doctor views the inside of the colon and rectum to identify dysplasia. If dysplasia is found, the doctor performs a biopsy, removing the tissue, which is examined further in a laboratory. The goal is to detect any cancer early, at its most curable stage.

Eye Examinations

Crohn’s disease can lead to eye problems in some children. Symptoms include painful inflammation in the eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, tenderness, night blindness, or glaucoma.

Doctors at Hassenfeld Childrens Hospital may refer your child to an ophthalmologist for an eye examination.

Resources for Crohn’s Disease in Children
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