My name is Charlotte, and I have a 4-month-old daughter and 3-year-old son. With my little Charlie, I never know if the symptoms I am seeing are dangerous or not. She already had a fever after childbirth, and the staff was stressful with her during the hospital stay. Now, I would say that I’m scared of missing something important. I am not obsessed with always going to see the doctor, but I would like to know some of the clinical signs that would indicate that I need to see a health professional based on the type of symptoms. Can you help?

Thanks! Charlotte


Charlotte,

Sometimes we have all sorts of questions about things we don’t want to happen to our baby. First, I would like to say that parents are always the best judges of what is different in your children. Changes in behaviour, a new reaction, a general state that doesn’t seem normal.

Health professionals need your observations to get the vital data they need to understand the problem presenting itself.

Now, to answer your question, I have put together a list of hints that can help guide you if you think you need to see a doctor quickly with a young baby. This list is non-exhaustive, and if you are still worried, it’s best to go to the doctor:

  •       Fever in a baby under 3 months of age, see a doctor before giving them acetaminophen;
  •       Fever that lasts more than 2-3 days despite using medication for a baby over three months;
  •       Convulsions (during fever, for example, the child passes out while their arms and legs contract                involuntarily);
  •       Repeated vomiting over 12 hours or heavy vomiting (perhaps with blood);
  •       Incessant crying, inconsolable;
  •       Very sleepy, apathetic, difficult to wake up (associated with a state of consciousness);
  •       Different skin colour than usual: white, red or bluish, or skin reaction with spots all over their body;
  •       Doesn’t react to your stimuli;
  •       Diarrhea for more than 12 hours;
  •       Blood in their stool;
  •       If the baby falls;
  •       If the baby has a foreign object in their nose, ear or mouth;
  •       If the baby has a burn;
  •       If they have respiratory issues: nasal indrawing, whistling, very high rhythm.

Charlotte, here are a few signs that can help you decide if you need to see a doctor. Don’t forget that as parents, you and your partner are the best judges if something is wrong with your baby.

Talk soon,

Marie

The Baby Expert 

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