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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baby Health Scares: When to Worry

There are few things more exhausting than having a sick baby. There are few things more potentially frightening either. Here are five potential "baby health emergencies", when it's actually emergency, when it's probably not, and how to treat it (if necessary).

Emergency: Baby spikes a fever
It's an emergency if: Your baby is under 3 months old and his rectal temperature is 100.4°F or higher. Fever in new babies is cause for serious concern because they haven't gotten most of their vaccinations yet and are therefore highly susceptible to infections. Of particular concern is meningitis, a potentially fatal infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Doctors will do lab work, and (if the baby is less than 4 months old), they will do a spinal tap to see if the infant has meningitis. If he does, he will be admitted to the hospital.
It's probably not if: Your baby has passed the 3-month mark and has received his first haemophilus influenza type b and pneomococcal conjugate vaccines (which help prevent meningitis). A fever is actually quite a normal reaction to a vaccine, though your baby's physician will probably start treating the fever if it reaches 101.5°F or above.
Treatment: If your baby isn't bothered by the fever, then there's nothing that you need to do. If he's fussy, you can give him acetaminophen (or ibuprofen, if he is at least 6 months old). Doctors usually recommend giving the baby a fever reducer and then giving him a tepid bath until he cools down, if his temperature hits about 102°F to 103°F. If you've used the safe maximum dose and the baby's fever continues to rise, be sure to call your pediatrician, so that you can determine what the cause is and whether treatment is necessary.

Emergency: Baby falls off of the changing table
It's an emergency if: Your baby isn't breathing. Start CPR and call 911 immediately. If she is breathing but unresponsive, skip the CPR and go straight to calling 911. Because falls can cause fractures and other serious injuries, watch out for warning signals with baby's behavior. Check her entire body for any signs of injury: redness, swelling, pain from touch, bleeding, excessive crying, vomiting, and abnormal eye movements. If she refuses to move an arm or leg, doesn't seem like herself, is inconsolable, cannot be roused, or is vomiting 12 to 24 hours after she has fallen, seek immediate medical attention.
It's probably not if: You can easily soothe your baby after the fall and she seems to be behaving normally. Even vomiting after a fall is normal for the first 12 hours. Make sure there is no swelling or bruising and watch your baby for signs of abnormal behavior. Make sure she can still move her arms and legs. If any of the more serious symptoms develop within 24 hours, see a doctor immediately. Once you get through the first 24 hours, the baby should be fine.

Emergency: Baby swallows an object
It's an emergency if: Your baby has put something in his mouth and cannot breathe or is having difficulty doing so, or if you think he has swallowed a button battery. If this is the case, call 911. Batteries are especially toxic and must be dealt with immediately. A button battery lodged in the esophagus can cause severe chemical burns within two hours.
It's probably not if: The object isn't toxic, isn't blocking the airway, and your baby is not coughing up or vomiting green bile (which is a sign of intestinal blockage). However, your pediatrician may still want to do an x-ray to decide whether to wait for it come out the other end on its own or to have it removed immediately.
Treatment: If your baby is coughing, he may cough the object out on his own.You can help the process along more quickly by leaning him forward. If his airway is completely blocked, give him five sharp blows between his shoulders. If you can see the object, try to remove it. However, you should NEVER just do a blind finger sweep, as that can actually force the object even further down the airway.

Emergency: Baby has an allergic reaction to food
It's an emergency if: Her nostrils are flaring, she is wheezing or whistling as she inhales, her lips are swollen, or she is turning blue. A severe allergic reaction (known as anaphylaxis) can close off your baby's airways very quickly. if you have an EpiPen (containing epinephrine, which can stop an allergic reaction), use it. You can also administer an antihistamine (such as Benadryl). But you also need to call 911 as well, because you don't know how much worse the reaction might get.
It's probably not if: Your baby's breathing is not immediately jeopardized. Symptoms of milder allergic reactions can vary widely, ranging from eczema and diaper rash to reflux, diarrhea, or even bloody stools. These can be handled by your pediatrician. You can also follow up with your doctor for testing to determine what else your baby is allergic to. Keep in mind that the trigger food could have possibly been passed to your baby through your breast milk. Babies with one allergy typically have others. Your doctor may also prescribe an EpiPen for dealing with future accidental exposures, depending on the severity of the baby's allergies.

Emergency: Baby swallows poison
It's ALWAYS an emergency. Without question, this should always be treated as an emergency. Common household products, medications, and even chewable kids' vitamins can be hazardous to a baby, even in very small amounts. Call Poison Control at 800-222-1222. Operators can tell you what to do next, based on your baby's age and what he ingested.

Information taken from:http://www.parents.com/baby/injuries/emergency/emergency-baby-health-scares/
Images taken from:
http://pediatrics.about.com/od/yourbabyweekbyweek/ss/baby_wk_twtytwo_4.htm
http://children.webmd.com/guide/choking-rescue-procedure-baby-younger-than-1-year
http://www.topnews.in/healthcare/content/22253childhood-eczema-ups-adult-allergic-asthma-risk-nine-fold

2 comments:

  1. If you have a baby at home, you should be aware of the emergencies that might happen. Keep contact numbers handy especially your Plano pediatrician. It can definitely help you in certain times.

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  2. I came here earlier today for a 3D/4D ultrasound to see my little boy. My husband's birthday is next week so I wanted to do something special since he already has everything. Upon arrival I was greeted by Jennifer who announced that she would be my technician today. The office is small and really comfy and cute. It has a TV, along with books and toys to keep little kids entertained. I filled out a short form and was on my way into the ultrasound room. The room itself was big, and had a couch that was faced towards the monitor in case you wanted to bring friends and family along. The room is dimly lit and they even play lullaby music during your session. Very cute! My session lasted for about 20 mins and we were able to get some good pictures of my little prince, despite him not wanted to cooporate with us very much! Jennifer was very patient and tried to get as many shots as possible. All in all, great experience today and will definitely recommend this place to all my preggo friends!
    4d ultrasound

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