Hepatitis B is spread when blood
from an infected person enters another person's body. It can be spread through
needlesticks and sharp instruments. It can also be spread by sharing personal items
such as razors and toothbrushes.
Babies may catch the virus during pregnancy if their mother has the virus. Children can spread it to others through household contact or through scrapes or cuts.
The following children are at risk for hepatitis B:
- Children born to moms with hepatitis B
- Children born to mothers who have come from a country where hepatitis B is widespread. These include Southeast Asia and China.
- Children who live in long-term care facilities or who are disabled
- Children who live in households where someone is infected with the virus
- Children who have a blood-clotting
problem and need blood products. This can include hemophilia.
- Children who need dialysis for kidney failure
- Teens who do high-risk activities.
These include IV (intravenous) drug use and unprotected sex.