Being a parent can be tough work. When a baby seems sick or hurt, how can mom know whether or not she should take baby to the emergency room? Is is really an emergency, or can it wait? The question on many mom's and dad's minds are just these, wondering if things should not be taken lightly or if you might be overreacting.
We all want what is best for our little ones. That, of course, includes their health and well being. However, we also do not want to take them to the hospital emergency room if it is not necessary. It is important to know the signs that it is time to take baby to the emergency room.
No matter what type of emergency you believe your child to be having, make sure you know the signs that indicate that is it a true emergency. You child may be sick, injured, or have some other issue that may be telling you it is time to head to the ER. Use this list as a guideline to understand what may constitute a true emergency, as these are the signs that you need to take your baby to the ER ASAP.
14 The Diapers Are Too Dry
Babies, especially newborns, go through quite a bit of diapers throughout the day, which most parents know! Be aware of your baby's bodily functions. Sounds silly, but it is true. As a parent, it is important to be aware if your baby has not wet their diaper in awhile. Chances are, you will realize that a long period of time has passed where you have not needed to change a diaper, but just be aware, always.
When a baby has not wet any diapers for a long period of time, that often indicates that he is dehydrated. If he refuses fluids, or takes in fluids, but still does not wet his diaper, a visit to the ER may be needed. You do not want your child to dehydrate. Head to the ER ASAP, where they will provide fluids intravenously so your baby will be okay.
13 Baby Can't Breathe
Obviously, this is an incredibly scary case. If your baby stops breathing, no matter what, it is a definite sign that she must be brought to the emergency room as soon as humanly possible. Do not delay if you believe your child is no longer breathing.
It can mean the difference between life or death. Taking your baby to the ER (or calling 911) is an absolute necessity if your baby is not breathing. It can happen suddenly, your baby just stops breathing. Drop whatever you are doing and head to the ER as fast as you can. Another scenario that unfortunately occurs, is if you go to wake your baby and they do not respond and are not breathing. It is very frightening to imagine this, but be aware you must immediately go to the ER.
12 Baby Has A Sudden Seizure
Up to 5% of children are prone to febrile seizures. A febrile seizure is when your body reacts to an extremely high temperature. It can be scary when it first happens, yet is often harmless. If your baby is sick with a high fever and suddenly has a seizure you may want to take them to the ER ASAP, especially if it is something you have never seen before. Always better to be safe than sorry.
Not all seizures are harmless. If your baby has a seizure that causes their eyes to roll in the back of their head, their limbs jerk about, and their body goes limp, that is very scary to witness. It is also a sign you should probably take them to the emergency room as fast as you can.
11 Baby's Losing Blood
No matter how your baby becomes injured, if there is a large amount of blood loss, heading to the emergency room is of extreme importance. You do not want your baby to lose too much blood. He may require stitches or more depending on the severity of the injury.
Blood loss can occur due to cuts, slashes, falls, etc. When there is a large amount of bleeding, you may not be able to determine how deep the cut actually is. If you try to clot the blood and it will not clot after a few minutes, or is gushing out at a heavy rate, that is nothing to take lightly. Blood that will not clot is a sign that medical intervention is needed. Take a trip to the ER pronto.
10 Rapid Breathing Or Wheezing
If your baby's breathing seems abnormal, pay close attention to the way they are breathing. If it is very rapid- as in inhaling and exhaling at a quick pace- that is not normal. It could indicate a respiratory infection or an asthma attack. These can be life threatening. Therefore, rapid breaking is a sign to head to the emergency room as fast as possible.
Wheezing or shortness of breath is also not normal. If you hear a high pitch noise, almost like whistling, as your baby tries to breathe, that is also not normal. All these are signs to not be taken lightly. Oftentimes, breathing issues only get worse as time goes on. These conditions can quickly deteriorate. An emergency room visit is always a must if your baby is not breathing normally.
9 Baby's Getting Too Hot
If you can't handle a hot day in the sun, neither can your little one. In fact, babies are much more susceptible to heat stroke. After all, they cannot really tell us when they feel too hot or overwhelmed from the sun. The main idea is to, of course, try to limit sun exposure, but being outside is part of life, so know the signs of heat stroke from the start.
The typical signs of heat stroke are a fever of over 103 degrees, failure to sweat, rapid pulse, red hot skin that is dry, irritability, dizziness, vomiting, and more. If your baby was outside for a period of time, can not seem to calm down, and has many of these symptoms, then take them to the ER as soon as possible.
8 Baby Is Not Waking Up
Did your baby fall? Did someone knock into them? Are they sick? Have they not eaten? There are many ways a baby may lose consciousness. No matter what, it is very scary. If your baby loses consciousness, it should never be a question whether or not to bring them to the hospital- you need to head to the ER ASAP.
Seeing a tiny human being unconscious is absolutely heartbreaking, but in many cases, everything will be okay, if they are taken to the hospital in a timely manner. Depending on the reason why the baby lost consciousness, the doctors will be able to help them. Do not just let your baby sleep it off. Take any loss of consciousness seriously, and head to the emergency room. Even if they regain consciousness shortly after, you need to know why they lost it in the first place.
7 Vomiting Green Colors
We hope you never seen your baby vomit green. Green vomit is extremely serious. It does not mean your child is sick, not even with the flu or that awful stomach bug that is going around. Vomit that is green in color usually signals something very serious. Seeing green- head to the emergency room.
Green vomit often means there is some type of obstruction in the abdomen. Only a doctor will be able to determine what is causing the obstruction, and why it is making your baby vomit, which is exactly why heading to the hospital is your best option. The obstruction can be very severe, and may even require surgery. Do not take green vomit for just being gross, take it very seriously and rush to the ER ASAP.
6 Sore And Swollen Tongue
Your baby should never have a tongue that seems to bother them. Their tongue should never be swollen or appear sore. If it does, it could indicate a more serious condition. Sore and swollen tongues are typically associated with anemia.
Anemia is caused by low iron levels. It is when the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. If your baby is not getting enough iron - either through breastmilk, formula, cow's milk, food, supplements, etc, they are at risk of becoming anemic. One of the telltale symptoms of anemia is a sore and swollen tongue, as well as dizziness, shortness of breath, and more. If you believe your baby is at risk, contact your physician ASAP. Usually a simple vitamin regime can solve an anemia problem in babies.
5 Uneven Hips And Curved Spine
You may notice your baby's pediatrician checking their hips and spine after birth, as well as during follow up visits (for years, really). There is a specific reason why they do is. It is to screen for any type of spinal problem. Doctors look for a curved spine or uneven hips in babies or young children, as it is a sign their bodies may not be growing correctly.
There are a few types of spinal disorders, most of us are familiar with scoliosis. When the spine is curved it can possibly be treated, especially at a young age, so it is vital to seek medical care and make sure the physician is checking your baby for uneven hips and a curved spine. In serious cases, uneven hips and a curved spine seen in newborns could possibly signal a condition known as spina bifida, which means, split spine.
4 Poor Muscle Control
Your baby should be getting stronger and stronger every day. They should be trying to reach for objects, put their thumb or hand in their mouths, and try to lift their head (even if they hate tummy time!). If it appears your baby has very poor muscle control accompanied by exaggerated reflexes and bad posture, then you need to take them to a doctor ASAP.
These symptoms all are signs of cerebral palsy, which is a congenital disorder of movement and muscle tone. Pay close attention to your baby's body and habits. Are they involuntarily moving about? Does it seem like they cannot control themselves? Is their muscle control, well, out of control? Get your baby checked out soon to figure out what may possible be wrong and hopefully figure out a way to help your sweet baby.
3 Cloudy Or Bloody Urine
It can be scary to discover that your baby's urine is cloudy or bloody. Oftentimes, those are symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is important to ensure that your baby receives medical care if these symptoms are present, but it is a treatable infection, and it will go away. However, it can be quite painful for your little one.
Your baby may not want to pass urine or may cry in pain when she does. She may also not want to eat or drink, have diarrhea, vomit, or just have foul smelling urine, if an infection is present. A doctor will want a sample of your baby's urine, and sometimes perform other tests. Your baby will receive medication or possibly be hospitalized if he is dehydrated or very sick, which is why it is vital to seek medical care at the first sign of an UTI.
2 Falling Asleep When Feeding
When was the last time you fell asleep while eating? Probably never! When was the last time your baby fell asleep while eating?? While it happens from time to time just because your baby is exhausted, sometimes, it could mean something more.
While often rare, a heart problem could be present if your baby is consistently falling asleep after eating. This does not mean a newborn, newborns sleep all the time anyway. It is when your baby is sitting up eating puffs or onto regular food. If they are falling asleep often in the middle of eating, it may mean they are more than just tired. This type of tiredness could be a heart problem. While it may seem cute at first, be aware if it continues, it is vital you speak with your baby's physician.
1 Soft Spot Issues And Not Wanting To Be Held
Certain signs and symptoms can often indicate serious issues in your newborn baby. This is why it is imperative to pay attention to your baby and their habits. Is their soft spot bulging? Do they seem sensitive to bright lights? Do they not like to be held? These symptoms are most definitely not normal in a baby. They could indicate that your baby has meningitis.
Meningitis is the inflammation of membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. In babies and children, it is often caused by a bacteria, such as Strep B, E-Coli, listeria, and others. It can also be fungal. Your baby may also have a fever, vomit, and have pale skin. If your baby seems unlike himself, and has any of the above symptoms, seek medical care ASAP, as it could lead to deafness, developmental issues, and not to mention, be fatal in a small infant.
Sources: WebMD, MayoClinic.org, Parents.com