If you’re a new parent, you’re likely worried about all the potential medical issues that might arise. In most cases, there’s no cause for concern; your baby is just being a baby. Here are some of the more serious symptoms to look out for so you know when to get help quickly.
1. High fever (in a child more than one year-old)
Fevers scare a lot of parents, but most of them are harmless. Technically a fever is any temperature (taken rectally) over 100.4 F. But a fever means your child’s immune system is working to combat something. You can give a child more than six months old acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the fever, but keep an eye on it closely.
Most pediatricians don’t recommend fighting a fever until the temperature is over 101 F. If your child appears fine and is eating/drinking without complaint, there’s no cause for alarm.
A strong fever can be serious, however. It’s recommended that you bring your child to a doctor if the fever reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or has a fever of any temperature for more than four days. A child younger than two years-old should see a doctor right away.
2. A really bad, widespread rash
Rashes are part of childhood. They pop up on the arms, feet and diaper areas quickly and go away just as fast. Usually they are harmless. If a red rash turns white when you touch it then back to red when you let it go, it’s harmless.
A non-blanching rash, however, is a big deal. It might appear as small red or purple spots, which might be sepsis or meningitis. If the rash appears alongside a fever, it’s important you take your child to get medical attention right away.
Another type of rash to look out for are hives that come with lip or facial swelling. While hives are usually harmless, swelling in these areas can impact breathing.
3. Painful headache
Headaches are tough to judge. It’s an abstract pain that kids have a hard time explaining (if your kids communicate at all). Minor headaches typically go away on their own or with fluids or over-the-counter medication.
If the headache is so bad that your child is complaining hours later, or is unable to eat, play or sleep, it’s time to call the pediatrician. The headache might be just one symptom of a neurological problem. Headaches combined with vomiting, a rash, stiff neck, or fever should be evaluated by a doctor immediately – this could be meningitis.
Also see your doctor if your child gets headaches frequently. This might lead to migraines later in life.
4. Stiff neck
I know I’ve mentioned meningitis a few times, but it’s serious. Once symptoms show, you’re on the clock to get medical care. A stiff neck is an indicator of meningitis, so act quickly if you notice your child standing very still or moving their whole body to turn. They’ll refuse to look right and left.
Often neck stiffness is just sore muscles and you could probably pinpoint it to some strenuous activity that took place recently. But if the stiffness was caused by trauma (like a car accident), head to the ER.
5. A bad stomach bug
Kids are going to have stomach bugs all the time. It’s the price of a developing immune system. A stomach bug can lead to dehydration if there is a lot of vomiting and diarrhea. Give your child plenty of fluids with electrolytes to keep them healthy. Depending how much liquid they are clearing out, they might need fluids administered intravenously.
Written by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear
Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.
Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.
For more information, please visit myarchive.oogie.com.
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Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and not to give professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding your child’s health and before following any of the suggestions in this post.