Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers
DAD.info | Family | Health | Your child's health | Major symptoms to watch out for in your child

Major symptoms to watch out for in your child

mattz118

mattz118

Many dads live in a state of anxiety that their child will be struck down by some terrible illness. We guide you through some major symptoms and suggest a few ways to easily tell the difference between a mild rash and a killer case of meningitis. Plus a few others besides…

 

Most British children go through childhood without suffering from anything more serious than chicken pox and flu.

But we all hear horror stories about killer diseases, so it is worth being able to spot any problems early on.

Common baby illnesses

Rashes

In a worst-case scenario, this could be meningitis (inflammation of the membranes lining the brain and spinal cord). Viral meningitis is usually mild.

The most severe form of bacterial meningitis is the relatively rare Group C, which can be fatal if not treated early with antibiotic injections. It can also cause deafness.

It could also be: hives, eczema, chicken pox, roseola, heat rash, contact rash.

The symptoms of meningitis are little red spots developing into large purple marks, vomiting, over-sensitivity to light, a bulging fontanelle (the soft spot on the baby’s head), stiff neck, high-pitched crying, drowsiness, fever, cold limbs, shaking, jerky movement and bruises under the skin.

How do you test for a meningitis rash?

Firmly press the side of a clear glass tumbler against the rash. If it does not turn white or fade, your baby may be at risk.

What are the odds?

An average of one in 25,000 people in the UK contract bacterial meningitis each year. Viral meningitis is more common (precise figures unknown).

Your baby will be vaccinated three times in the first four months – each time against meningitis C and against HIB (another form of bacterial meningitis).

If the symptoms fit meningitis, call your GP or 999

Watery poo

It’s possible that this is viral or bacterial diarrhoea. This can be caused by a viral infection, urinary infection, upper respiratory tract infection or a more serious illness.

However, it could also be a reaction to formula milk.

Symptoms of viral/bacterial diarrhoea are frequent, foul-smelling, watery stools (sometimes greenish in colour), vomiting, fever, blood in the stools (bacterial cause), floppiness and abdominal pain.

Diarrhoea caused by an infection usually gets better within a week. But if your baby is passing more than seven watery stools per day, contact your doctor.

How to raise a fit kid

Vomiting

This could be viral or bacterial infection or a blockage in the intestine.

It could also be a normal reflux of milk from the stomach. Many babies bring up small amounts after feeding. Other possible causes include a milk allergy, abnormalities of the intestine or a narrowed digestive track.

Other symptoms of viral/bacterial infection are fever, diarrhoea, blood in vomit, projectile vomiting.

Call your doctor if your baby has these symptoms.

Fever

This could be a serious bacterial or viral infection.

However, it could also be a cold.

The symptoms of a serious infection are a high temperature (anything over 38C if your baby is under three months), lethargy and no interest in feeding.

If her temperature rises above 38C, call your doctor.

Related entries

How to help an anxious child

The current world is an uncertain one for our kids. Lockdown has left them off school, educated by frazzled parents, separated from their friends, unable to enjoy their usual activities and in many cases struggling to sleep. Our children are aware of a threat they...

A Pandemic of Loneliness

A Pandemic of Loneliness

A recent survey has found that 36% of children have not seen another child their age (who isn't their sibling) for over a month. The survey of 2000+ parents, carried out by the Parent Ping app, has shone a light on an issue that has been somewhat lost amid the chaos...

Latest entries

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

What birth rate is needed to sustain a population?

Not the most romantic of pillow talk, but though having children is a completely personal choice there is also an optimal birth rate that is needed to sustain a population. And it is 2.1 live births per mother. 2.1 for a few reasons. Sadly even with the best medical...

ASK DEBBIE – I HAVEN’T SEEN MY CHILD FOR FIVE YEARS

ASK DEBBIE – I HAVEN’T SEEN MY CHILD FOR FIVE YEARS

Dads, do you struggle sometimes? Who do you reach out to for help? Debbie Pattison, a qualified counsellor at Fegans can answer your questions. Send them in to Ask Debbie at info@dad.info and if she can she will answer. Today’s question is from a hurt dad that hasn't...

Childcare: what are the options?

Childcare: what are the options?

Modern parenthood is about striking a balance between caring for your children and earning a crust. Many families need childcare options to balance the juggle. If you don't know your nannies from your au pairs, read our guide to childcare to help you decide...

Pin It on Pinterest