Babies and young
children can become ill, often with confusing
symptoms and for no obvious reason. Most bouts
of illness will pass off quickly make sure
the child drinks as much as possible as this
really helps with minor infections. However,
if the illness appears unusual or serious with
rapid deterioration, you must seek advice as
soon as you become worried.
Meningitis as every parent knows this is
a potentially dangerous illness and it is wise
to know what youre looking for.
The symptoms usually include:
A high temperature
Avoidance of light
Feeling or being sick
A stiff neck
A rash, could be like pinpricks or spread
to make batches like bruises. This rash will
not fade when pressed. Press a glass firmly
against the rash to see if it will fade.
Young babies may show the above symptoms but
may display other symptoms such as:
Pale blotchy skin
A high pitched, moaning cry
Not wanting to feed
Difficult to wake up.
IF YOU SUSPECT MENINGITIS CALL YOUR DOCTOR
IMMEDIATELY, AS IT CAN BECOME VERY SERIOUS VERY
You know your child best. Dont wait to call
a doctor if you are concerned. Ask for advice.
A very ill baby may:
Have breathing difficulties
Be extremely sleepy
Take less than half the normal feed in 24
Have less than 4 wet nappies in 24 hours
Suffer from fits (convulsions)
Feel hot, but look pale.
If you baby has a fever watch out for other
signs of illness.
A feverish baby needs to keep cool by undressing,
sponging down with cool water and infant Paracetamol
Loose stools are common. Diarrhoea with vomiting
is called Gastro-enteritis. For mild diarrhoea
give plenty of fluids. If watery diarrhoea has
lasted more than a day consult your doctor,
particularly if baby is unwell. Babies are often
sick, but if your baby is vomiting a lot or
violently, call your doctor.
Coughs and colds
If you baby is feeding well and does not have
a fever there is usually no need to see a doctor.
If your baby is finding it hard to breathe or
feed then contact your doctor.
Fits and convulsions
Fits can occur when your child has a high temperature.
A child who is having a fit needs to be in a
safe place, such as on the floor. A child needs
to be put their tummy with their head turned
to one side. Dont put anything into their mouth
and seek help immediately.
Most spots and rashes do not need treatment.
Some are heat rashes so make sure that your
baby isnt too hot. Washing powders and fabric
conditioners can also flare up an allergy.
Nappy rash can be treated by:
Changing the nappy more often
Washing babys bottom frequently
Leaving the nappy off to let the air to
Some babies and children have minor reactions
which can include:
Being grisly. Lots of comfort and cuddles
will be needed
The area around immunisation may swell and
become red. If it is larger than a 10p coin
or your baby cries persistently, contact your
Crying is bays way of communicating and awaiting
help. This could because they are:
Help your baby by making sure that they
Fed and watered
Soothed by talking or singing to
Rocked in your arms or in their pram
Given things to look at and listen to
Give your baby a teething ring to chew as
this can soothe some of the discomfort.
Babies can start teething anytime up
to one year and by the age of 3 most
will have their full set of milk (deciduous)
teeth. You can often tell that a baby
is teething as they dribble more than
usual, may be more irritable and sometimes
have a sore bottom.
Give plenty of water to drink avoid acid
drinks like orange juice
Infant Paracetamol may be given
Try teething gels that contain local anaesthetic
as they can provide short term relief.