First-time parents find themselves wanting to dial up 911 at the slightest sign of anything out of the ordinary when they first bring their newborn home. It’s normal to want to take every precaution possible to ensure that your delicate new baby is well cared for.
Since babies are at a particularly vulnerable point in their life, it’s important to err on the side of caution. Although most doctors are doing their jobs correctly, you should do your own research. It’s not unheard of for a doctor to dismiss symptoms which should have been handled immediately. As a result of negligence, your baby could be put in danger.
So what calls for medical attention and what doesn’t? Take a look at some of these problems that should be taken care of by a professional rather than treated at home.
A healthy baby should not have a fever within the first three months of their lives. A temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is considered reason to go to the emergency room immediately.
It’s important to know that fevers themselves aren’t dangerous, they are in fact a sign of the human body fighting illness. However, when it comes to newborns, it can be a sign of a severe bacterial infection which could be fatal.
As a general rule of thumb, all fevers within the first three months of their lives should be handled by a doctor. After three months old you can wait 24 hours to see if the fever passes before calling to make an appointment.
Babies have very sensitive skin, and it’s very common to develop light irritations which fade quickly. However, if your baby has an angry spotted rash that doesn’t fade when you press your finger to them, it could be a sign of meningitis.
You should go to the doctor right away to rule out this serious possibility.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
While vomiting and diarrhea aren’t as risky in older children, they should be handled by a doctor or the ER in a young baby or toddler.
The reason for concern is dehydration. Since a young child or baby’s system is much smaller, they can get dehydrated much faster in a shorter window of time.
Always keep an eye on their stools to ensure they aren’t losing too much liquid.
Although babies vomit regularly after drinking milk, known as, spit-up, persistent vomiting or vomit which has blood or bile in it is a reason for alarm.
If your baby is extremely short of breath or is wheezing when they breathe, it’s a reason for seeking medical attention.
Their lungs are incredibly delicate, and lung infections which are left untreated could cause permanent damage or even fatality.