What to Do When Baby Gets Sick: 7 Solutions | Parents

My son has always been a happy, easygoing kid. But at 4 months, Samuel was really cranky for a few days. I called the pediatrician’s office, and the nurse said it sounded like teething. That, though, didn’t seem right, so I asked to come in for a doctor’s take. I felt awkward. After all, I’d been a mom for a fraction of this nurse’s career. Who was I to second-guess someone with so much experience? What I didn’t consider was that I’d developed my own expertise on Samuel. I could differentiate his feed-me wails from his cuddle-me whimpers and his I’m-so-sleepy sobs. Turns out, he wasn’t teething. He had an ear infection, one we were able to catch and treat early. Indeed, parents can help docs diagnose properly. “To understand when a baby is sick, you have to understand what he’s like when he’s well–and that’s something a parent knows best,” says Paul Horowitz, MD, a pediatrician in Santa Clarita, California. Follow this guide to common childhood illnesses, how to treat them, and when to see the doctor. Fever This is a sign of an underlying problem rather than an illness on its own. “The body raises its temperature because the enzymes that fight infection work better at higher temperatures,” Dr. Horowitz says. A fever can be related to an ear infection, a cold, the flu, or it can be a reaction to a vaccine. Feverish kids are lethargic and irritable. How to treat: Some parents have “fever phobia” and want to take their kids to the doctor for the slightest increase in temperature. But low-grade fevers (101 degrees or below) typically aren’t dangerous. Give baby Infants’ Tylenol, undress her, encourage her to drink fluids, and bathe her in tepid water. “Just wiping her down could lower her fever by a degree or two,” says Christopher Tolcher, MD, a pediatrician in Agoura Hills, California. When to call the doctor: If your baby is a newborn (2 months or younger) and has even a low-grade fever, if your child is younger than 1 year and has a fever of 102 degrees or higher, if an older child has a fever of 104 degrees or higher, or if the fever (even a low-grade one) lasts more than three days. Drastic changes in behavior–such as your child’s becoming very lethargic–are also cause for concern. — Read on www.parents.com/baby/health/sick-baby/what-to-do-when-baby-gets-sick-7-solutions/

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