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05
May
2021
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Parenting Children With Special Needs: The Lymphatic System

By Emily Goodwin, MD

What is the lymphatic system?

The lymphatic system is a part of the body’s immune system designed to help fight infections. The lymphatic system also helps the body maintain fluid balance. It includes a network of channels that drain and collect fluid and proteins from all over the body. The lymph system helps return fluid to the body that leaks from vessels and tissues in the body. Organs in the lymphatic system include the spleen, bone marrow, thymus gland, tonsils, adenoids, lymph nodes and even tissue in the gut. 

You may never give a second thought to the lymphatic system when you or your child is healthy. During an infection however, you may take notice or see a new lump arise. When the body faces an infection, germs collect in the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes in the neck are often swollen when fighting an infection inside the lymph node or nearby infection

Why should I care about the lymphatic system?

You may never give a second thought to the lymphatic system when you or your child is healthy. During an infection however, you may take notice or see a new lump arise. When the body faces an infection, germs collect in the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes in the neck are often swollen when fighting an infection inside the lymph node or nearby infection

If your child has a swollen lymph node, don’t panic! It is most likely part of the normal response to an infection. The lymph node swelling and tenderness should disappear after the illness is gone, but may take weeks to shrink back down to normal size.

What if my child does not have part of the lymphatic system?

Whether born without it, surgically removed, or no longer functional related to a chronic medical condition, some children don’t have all lymphatic organs such as a spleen, or tonsils, or adenoids. 

 

Read the full story via Parenting Children With Special Needs

Find Resources for Children with Complex Medical Needs