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?
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.
The Baby Expert