Advice to Care for Sick Children and Common Signs Your Baby Is Unwell

No parent likes to think of their child being unwell at any age but, with babies, it can be even more distressing and worrying. A baby has a weaker immune system than an adult, and while some of the more common sicknesses can often be treated by you at home, many more dangerous illnesses will require trained medical attention. 

While it’s true the majority of babies and toddlers will suffer the most common ailments, like colds, ear infections, or chickenpox, they are still susceptible to considerably more serious illnesses. 

Also, it’s worth remembering that, if a child is showing signs of being ill, you should never try to self-diagnose what’s wrong with your child, but rather, seek the advice of a professional that, in some cases, might rely on medical diagnostic machines to isolate and diagnose the problem. 

What to Do When Your Child Is Sick

As mentioned above, if you think your child is unwell, you should seek the advice of a professional, as even just consulting with a pharmacist will help give you peace of mind. 

Often, a health visitor will spot the signs much earlier than you but, if not, you should take your child to a doctor or nurse or, if you think things are more serious, to the hospital.  

What to Look Out for as Signs of a More Serious Illness

While it is not recommended to try to diagnose illnesses yourself, some tell-tale signs should give you a warning alarm that your baby might be more dangerously unwell, including:

Your child is experiencing high temperature: While temperature fluctuations can be quite normal in small children, if their temperature stays high, it could be a sign of something more serious, particularly if it doesn’t decrease after ibuprofen or paracetamol. Also, cold feet and hands accompanying a high temperature may be a signal that things aren’t quite right. Note too that a high temperature in a child under eight weeks should also be a warning. 

The child is having difficulties breathing: Clearly, breathing difficulties won’t just be distressing for the child, but they will also be very worrying for you. Also, if you notice your child is breathing erratically or is suffering from rapid breathing, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Another potential sign that something’s not right is if they are making a rasping sound or panting noise as they breathe. 

Respiratory problems like Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are common causes of breathing difficulties in children. It is a highly contagious virus that affects the respiratory tract and can lead to severe respiratory illnesses, particularly in infants and young children. Read more about RSV to know what to do when your child shows signs of this medical condition.  

The child has marks on its skin: Problems with the skin can often be a sign of a much deeper, more significant issue, so should be seen by a professional quickly. Grey or pale skin can indicate something more problematic, as can blotchy or grey skin issues. 

Constant crying: Of course, all children cry at some point, but if your child is seemingly inconsolable, you should get a second opinion. 

Problems waking up: If your child is difficult to wake for a long period or seems confused or like they don’t know where they are, then this may be an indicator of something bigger.

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