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Carotenemia

 

Over the last several weeks my 11 month old son has become progressively more yellow.  I had read that yellow baby foods can cause this.  The picture attached is not altered - he’s that yellow.  He does love squash.  Should I stop feeding him yellow foods?  Do I need to worry?

You are correct that children can begin to turn yellow after eating a lot of foods (usually baby foods) that contain beta carotene. Beta carotene is what makes yellow veggies yellow. Beta carotene is found in many veggies including carrots, spinach, broccoli, squash, collard greens and sweet potatoes.  Most of the cases I see in practice are cause by love of squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots. When children eat enough of these veggies that they turn yellow we diagnosis "Carotenemia".

Carotenemia does not hurt children. Arguably, carotenemia is a sign of healthy eating. While stopping the squash will normalize his colored, I’d continue to encourage the healthy veggies in his diet.

Should you worry? Not at all if it is only carotenemia. However, I would recommend you have him evaluated by his healthcare provider. You need to make sure that it isn’t jaundice (usually a liver problem). Children with jaundice usually appear sick, can have yellowing of the eyes and an enlarged liver. If you doctor is concerned he may order blood work.

Follow up

Thanks, we took him to our pediatrician and he agrees. Its just carotenemia.

 

 

Written December 2012 by Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician

 

 

 

 

 

gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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