When to take your baby to hospital?

So a friend who’s soon to be a daddy asked me how do you know when you should take your baby to hospital when they’re not well?

Being a first time mom, most of us naturally worry about our little ones well being. But knowing when to take your baby to hospital is trusting your instincts and knowledge of what warrants a trip down to A&E. 

For me it’s about being safe, rather than sorry but also knowing my child’s normal behaviour and what seems to be out of character. Why risk your child life?!

Wouldn’t you rather be told you can go home, that your child is fine and displaying normal symptoms of a child who is unwell? I know I would but not once have I been turned away on the two occasions I’ve made the choice to take our little girl to A&E. You know your child better than any one else, if you’re unsure never listen to anyone else who tells you oh that’s normal. You’re stressing over nothing, do they know your child better than you do? I’ve heard of stories where mothers have been turned away and their child has had a serious health issue. 

I’ve been told by friends who are medical professionals that a temperature over 38 in a child under the age of a year can result in serious life threatening health issues. This doesn’t make me want to run to A&E if and when our daughter gets sick. But a temperature that seemingly won’t come down that’s been above 39 can result in siesures, fits, convulsions etc all of which can cause trauma and injury to the brain. So why would you risk it when you know that you’ve been doing everything you know to help bring your child’s temperature down? 

Keeping them in a nappy and single layer of thin cotton clothing. Not putting them into an ice cold bath which will put their little bodies into shock or infront of a cold fan which could make their temperature get worse not better. Don’t cover them in layers of clothing or thick blankets. Give them cold liquids to sip on often to help bring their core temperature down. 

On both occasions our daughters temperature would not come down after 2/3 doses of medicine and doing the above. She was unsettled and crying constantly which to me is not normal. She’s not one to just cry and usually easily consoled and soothed. On neither occasion where we turned away but referred to paediatrics to monitor our little girl. She had a raised heart rate, was breathing heavier than usual, with mottled blotchy skin, cold hands and feet, unsettled and no obvious cause for a fever. 

I won’t lie it’s quite distressing having to console and see your child go through something like this when they are generally quite happy content and otherwise fit and healthy. 

Of course there are things you need to educate yourself on like childhood diseases and illnesses that warrant a trip to A&E no questions asked. For example a rash that doesn’t disappear when a glass is rolled over it or gentle pressure applied. Meningitis and septicaemia is a killer if not treated in time. Ive included a helpful link below for you. 

Meningitis Septicaemia Org
Always trust your instincts. Would you rather be safe than sorry. I know I would. 

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