6 Serious Symptoms in babies that you shouldn’t ignore

Becoming a parent for the first time is amazing, but it can also be scary. 

…Especially the first time your baby gets sick…

RJ got sick for the first time at 10 months and half, Earache and it was because of teething. 

Even having training in the area, when it comes to your baby…
It’s worrying, tired and frustration and all the emotions you can think and fell of, until he comes out of it well.

A week later he was fine, but now we are always checking for signs… parents!

When your baby/child gets sick, it can be tempting to hit the panic button for every little cough or rash. How can you tell what’s serious, what’s just new parent jitters, and what can wait until you call your baby’s doctor?

Here are 6 serious symptoms in babies that you should never ignore:

1. Blue lips (Cyanosis)

If your baby’s lips are turning blue, or the mucus membranes in their mouth or tongue turn blue, this is a sign that they are not getting enough oxygen.
This condition is known as Cyanosis.

What should you do?

If your baby is turning blue, calling 999 in UK (911 in US) is very appropriate.

2. Strained breathing

All babies grunt and groan from time to time. But if their breathing is consistently hard and fast, and you can see that they are using their chest muscles more than they should be and that their nostrils flare out, it may be a sign of respiratory distress. 

What should you do?

Call your pediatrician/GP right away, and if it is after-hours, call 111 or consider a trip to the emergency room.

3. Fever over 100.4 F or 38 C (in newborns)

If your infant is less than three months and has a rectal temperature greater than 100.4 F, call your pediatrician.
Fever in a newborn is very non-specific. It can be anything from a cold to meningitis, and we treat a fever more seriously in newborns.

What should you do?

Always take a newborn’s temperature rectally because other ways are not as accurate in newborns.

Call your doctor if your newborn has a fever!

A newborn may be admitted to the hospital to undergo a battery of tests, including a spinal tap for evaluation of what is causing the fever, and he or she may need antibiotics.

Older children: A fever is not always serious in older children with more developed immune systems, is in fact a good thing. It means that their immune system, the antibodies are working well and taking care of the infection. Unless of course it reaches 39 degrees. Then you should definitely call 111.

4. Worsening jaundice (yellowing of the skin)

All Newborns develop a little of Jaundice by their Second or Third day of life. You may notice it in their eyes, but it then clears off.

But if your newborn is getting yellower and yellower after birth, he or she may have worsening jaundice.
Bilirubin is produced by the liver. The liver in the baby is like a furnace: it takes a while to get it going, but once we get it going, it’s OK. When they are born, if their liver is not up to speed, bilirubin can build up in the body and cause the skin to turn a yellowish color.

If bilirubin levels skyrocket, they can affect the brain, causing seizures and permanent damage.

What should you do?

Most doctors will recommend feeding your infant more frequently, so that the baby gets rid of excess bilirubin in his or her stool.

The next step is to place the baby under ultraviolet (UV) lights (phototherapy) to increase the breakdown of bilirubin. If it goes higher, blood transfusions may be needed.

Some doctors say that home care or phototherapy is usually enough to bring bilirubin down to a level where the baby’s body can get rid of it on its own.

5. Dehydration

If your baby is not making wet diapers, we worry about dehydration. The normal is to see one diaper for every day old up to six days of age, and then six wet diapers a day going forward.

At the least, that means two diapers for two day-olds, three diapers for three-day-olds, and so on.

Others signs of severe dehydration may include dry mouth, sunken eyes, and lethargy.

What should you do?

Call your pediatrician/doctor for advice as soon as possible. The doctor may recommend feeding the infant breast milk or formula. Water is actually not good to give a baby in these situations, because it can cause sodium levels to fall, and this can lead to seizures.

6. Throwing up bright green bile

Kids throw up. A lot. They throw up from coughing too hard, crying too hard, eating too much, and from those ubiquitous stomach bugs.

If they throw up greenish bile, however, it is serious. Vomit that looks like dark coffee grounds can also be serious.

Green bile can indicate that the intestines are blocked, which needs immediate attention. Vomit that looks like ground coffee grounds may be a sign of internal bleeding. Vomiting after a head injury will also require evaluation because it can be a sign of a concussion or of bleeding inside the cranium. 
Head injuries, with or without vomiting, should be evaluated by a doctor.

What should you do?

Vomit that is greenish bile or blood-colored should be evaluated by the pediatrician immediately.

Head injuries, with our without vomiting, should be evaluated by a doctor. Call your pediatrician immediately, and follow his or her advice.

In general, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. 
When in doubt, always trust your gut and call 111 or your doctor.


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