Emergency Baby Assessment
If you’ve got a baby, you may need to make a few trips to your doctor’s surgery. Chances are you’re going to be doing it quite a few times over the next few years!
The reason for this is that your baby’s immune system is still maturing. So they are more prone to minor illnesses such as coughs, colds, and tummy upsets than older children and adults.
Young babies can also get worse suddenly when they are ill, so always err on the side of caution. Even if you think your baby is just “not right”, it’s best to get her checked by a doctor. The good news is that while babies can get ill quickly, they also recover quickly once they get the right treatment.
When should we see the doctor?
Some health problems need to be checked out straight away by your doctor, while others can be left for a few hours or so.
See a doctor as soon as you can if your baby has:
- Diarrhoea for more than 12 hours.
- Repeated vomiting, or vomiting for 12 hours or more. Or if she has other symptoms as well as vomiting, such as diarrhoea, a fever, or a rash.
- A fever. Take your baby to the doctor if she has a fever of 38 degrees C or higher and she’s under three months, or 39 degrees C or higher if she is older than three months.
- An object lodged in her nose, ear, mouth, or vagina. Never try to remove objects yourself.
- A burn larger than a 50p piece, particularly if the skin is blistering (this includes sunburn).
- Persistent crying. As a parent you know your baby’s pattern of crying better than anyone. If she is crying more than usual, or if her cry sounds high-pitched, or she is whimpering or moaning, see your doctor.
- Blood-streaked vomit or poo. Often this isn’t due to anything serious, but it still needs checking with your doctor straight away.
- An unexplained rash, particularly if it’s accompanied by a fever.
- A barking cough with a loud, high-pitched rasping sound when she breathes in. This may be croup. Croup is quite rare now thanks to the Hib vaccination, but this needs to be checked by your doctor.
- She has not wanted to drink for more than eight hours. Or she’s had less than half of her usual amount to drink over the past 24 hours. This includes breast or bottle feeds for young babies.
- Sunken fontanelles (the soft spots on your baby’s head), along with other symptoms, including dry lips, dark yellow urine, and fewer wet nappies than usual. These can be signs of dehydration.
- Your baby has been unusually irritable and moody for no apparent reason in the past 24 hours.
- Your baby has pink, watery, or sticky eyes. This could be a sign of an eye infection, such as conjunctivitis. This can be very infectious and needs treating promptly.
- Discharge from her ears, eyes, navel, or genitals over the past 24 hours.
Above symptoms are only a guideline and we cannot cover all the possible symptoms that your baby may have that needs a doctor’s attention. If you are unsure, please call our surgery to book an appointment with one of our highly qualified doctors who can see your baby and address any of your concerns. Our clinic is open 7 days a week and we can arrange for you to be seen both weekdays and weekends.