When to Take Your Baby to the Hospital

Babies cry, gurgle and cough as a regular part of their growth and development. Parents soon learn what is normal and when they need to consult their pediatrician. However, some conditions develop quickly and need immediate care. That’s when a trip to your local emergency department is advised.

“Parents should always err on the side of caution and seek immediate medical care when they’re worried that something might be wrong with their newborn,” advises Judy Yang, D.O., a pediatrician with the Center for Primary Care, a NorthBay affiliate, in Fairfield.

Symptoms you shouldn’t ignore include:

Fever:If an infant younger than 3 months old has a fever that rises to 100.4 degrees or higher, the baby needs immediate medical care. This is because of the risk of serious infection or diseases such as meningitis.

Jaundice:If a newborn’s color is increasingly yellow, it may have worsening jaundice. While jaundice is normal, it should be fading, not growing darker.

Blue lips:If your newborn’s lips are turning blue, or if he has a blue tinge to his skin, he’s not getting enough oxygen. Call 9-1-1 immediately.

Trouble breathing: If the baby is wheezing, making a high-pitched noise while breathing, or has noticeable difficulty breathing.

Vomiting:Any vomiting by a newborn should be checked. Green vomit is always an emergency.

Bruises: Bruises to the head of a newborn or baby at any age should be checked out.

Information to Keep Handy

Whether you’re visiting your pediatrician or the emergency department, make note of the following information:

  • Your baby’s temperature and when the fever began.
  • Any medications and when they were given.
  • The last time the baby nursed.
  • Time of last wet diaper.
  • When and how much did baby vomit/have diarrhea.
  • Any other symptoms that you are
    worried about.

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