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May 03, 2003

Bruises? No, Mongolian spots!

Prior to our adoption, I remember reading some stuff on Mongolian Spots. My understanding was that it was sometimes seen on babies of Asian or Latin American descent. I had this vision that these "spots" were similar to birthmarks...discolorations. What I DID NOT realize is that they look EXACTLY like bruises. I DID NOT realize that they were quite common with babies from Guatemala. So, when we brought our little girl home...we were fooled by the seemingly bruised condition of her rear. We knew that her foster care had been top-notch, so we couldn't figure out why there would be bruises.

Of course, our little girl had Mongolian spots. When the doctor verified this, I felt like an idiot! Of Course...I had read about these unsual spots. But it never sunk in how much they resembled bruises. I was also surprised that I had not noticed them on previous visits NOR had I realized that a LARGE percentage of these babies would have them (I have asked many of my Hispanic-American friends and ALL of their children had them).

These spots normally fade before school age, however, I strongly recommend that new parents of children with Mongolian spots have the information documented in their medical record. If applying for a daycare or enrolling in school, make sure to take documentation about Mongolian spots and notify the caretaker. There HAVE been cases where a "well-meaning" caretaker called DFACS and the child was held while the family was investigated. Better safe than sorry!!!

Here is some more info on Mongolian Spots:
Families with Children from China has an article with pictures
Dr. Greene's site
China Connection

Posted by Kelly at May 3, 2003 10:44 PM