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Danger signs of baby fever

Fevers are a baby’s way of fighting infection but when does it get serious? Find out all you need to know about baby fever here.

The trials and tribulations of parenthood includes the heartbreak that comes when your baby falls ill. Unfortunately, in their first few years, infants are very susceptible to falling ill and infections as these are the years in which they build up their body’s resistance. Knowing what is and isn’t an emergency will help you act fast if ever you needed to.

Here is what to look out for.

Febrile Seizure

High fevers above 38 degree celsius can cause febrile seizures in babies and often happens during the first 24 hours of fever. These fevers are commonly brought about by a viral upper respiratory infection, stomach flu, roseola or an ear infection.

Babies who have febrile seizure in their first year are likely to have the condition recur and if either of the parents have a history of seizures, you might have passed on the genes to them.

The symptoms are terrifying for a parent to behold. In the throes of a seizure, your baby may experience stiffness of limbs and sometimes his body may twitch or jerk. He may also roll his eyes , drool or vomit. Deemed as harmless in most cases, the seizures may last only a few seconds, or up to 15 minutes. If the seizure lasts longer than three minutes, it’s imperative that you seek professional help.

What to do:

1. Place him on his side and gently turn his head to one side. This is to prevent choking when you baby vomits.
2. Do not attempt to put anything in his mouth during the seizure and make sure his air passage is clear.
3. Take note of how long the seizure lasts and if you baby has turned blue or has difficulty breathing do call 995 immediately.

Roseola

Roseola is a fairly common viral illness that affects children who are between 6 months to 3 years of age. It usually starts with 3 days of very high fever that ends as abruptly as it begins. If your baby is left with a light pink rash on his stomach, it’s a clear indication that Roseola has come to visit.

The rash consists of pink spots that are either small flat spots or raised bumps. You may find a circle of lightness around them and when you press on it, the area turns white. A baby suffering from the condition would have an enlarged lymph node in his neck and at the back of his skull. Roseola cannot be passed through contact but spreads easily among young children through contact with saliva, respiratory droplets or due to poor hygiene.

What to do:

1. Make sure your baby gets plenty of rest and liquids to avoid dehydration.
2. To reduce your baby’s fever, sponge him down with lukewarm water
3. Always wash your hands frequently to prevent contagion.
4. Seek medical attention

Neonatal Meningitis

Meningitic is caused by a virus or bacteria and is an inflammation of the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord. It is especially important to treat babies quickly as any delay could put your baby at risk of mental retardation, deafness and even death.

Symptoms of Meningitis are more difficult to detect in a baby as the symptoms are internally driven like a fever, stiff neck, headache and sensitivity to light, which you can’t tell at a glance.

Some more visible tell-tale signs include:

You may be able to tell if there is an inflammation in the brain if her fontanel or the soft spot on her skill is bulging. A seizure is also an indicator of meningitis.

What to do:

1. Call your doctor straight away as early treatment is crucial to save your baby’s life.