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How to tell if your baby needs emergency care

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Most parents have experienced the situation of their babies waking up in the middle of the night feeling extremely agitated and not feeling well. Although some health conditions cause the baby to wait until the next day to see their pediatrician, there are cases where waiting a few hours until the doctor’s office opens can be detrimental to the baby’s health. And it is in these situations where parents need to quickly determine whether their baby should go to emergency care or not.

When a baby gets sick, there is a progression of the disease that occurs during the day to indicate how sick the baby may be. From the obvious physical symptoms of a runny nose or cough to less obvious things like catching the baby tugging on one ear or even a change in behavior during the day, all of these signals are what parents use to help them cope. determine whether or not the doctor should be called. The problem arises when these symptoms do not show up during the day and suddenly appear in the middle of the night. It may be more difficult to decide if the baby can wait to see a pediatrician or if urgent care needs to be seen instead.

RELATED: Emergencies, Emergency Care or Doctor’s Office: Where to Take Your Baby Based on the Signs

Here’s how to determine if a baby needs emergency care.

High fever

A high fever that does not decrease with medication is a reason to seek emergency care

via Pexels / Tara Winstead

It is not uncommon for a baby’s temperature to fluctuate throughout the day. For some, according to Seattle for kids, the temperature can start at 98.6 F in the morning and rise to 100.3 F by the end of the day. Fevers, however, are not a common thing for a baby. and should be given special attention.

According to MedicalNewsToday, fevers are an indication that the body is fighting a disease. Although this is a good sign that the immune system is functioning properly, fevers in babies should not be taken lightly.

The reason why a baby’s fever needs to be monitored is that he cannot regulate his temperature. Because of this, a a high temperature can lead to seizures. And while they usually don’t cause long-term damage, they can be scary to see.

Therefore, if a baby has a temperature of 104 F who does not come down with the drugs and lasted more than 24 hours, you have to go to the emergency room, according to MedicalNewsToday.

Ear infection is reason to take baby to emergency care

Ear infections in adults are annoying and can sometimes be quite painful. But, with most ear infections, they can be allowed to clear up on their own, several times without antibiotics. The same cannot be said of babies.

Ear infection in a baby will not go away on its own. And if it is not treated, according to Doctors Health Press, it can lead to temporary or even permanent hearing loss. As such, it’s important to go to emergency care to have an ear infection treated if a baby wakes up in the middle of the night with signs of an infection.

Signs of an ear infection, according to the National institute and other communication disorders include:

  • Ear fluid
  • Pull on the ears
  • Sleeping troubles
  • General agitation

If a baby seems to have these symptoms during the day and cannot see their GP, or if they show up in the middle of the night, emergency care is the right option to get them.

Cough that does not go away

A cough that does not go away within 10 days warrants a trip to emergency care with a baby

via Flickr / Ryan Boren

Coughs in babies are usually the result of a chest infection, according to WebMD. However, a cough can also be the result of allergies or whooping cough.

If a cough goes away on its own within 10 days, there is usually no cause for concern. However, if a baby presents with difficulty breathing, vomiting, wheezing, or fever over 104 F accompanying a cough, it is a good time to take the baby to emergency care.

Severe cold or flu symptoms are reasons to seek emergency care

As sad as it can be to see a baby catch a cold, overall it doesn’t require medical attention to make a little one feel better. The flu, on the other hand, is a different situation.

According to Disease Control Centers, babies are at the greatest risk of complications from the flu. Some of these complications include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Dehydration
  • Sinus or ear infections
  • Long-term medical problems

As such, there are symptoms to watch out for in babies who have the flu or a bad cold. According to Coastal Emergency Care Baton Rouge, they include:

  • Dehydration
  • Blue lips or skin
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty in breathing

If the baby has any of these symptoms, especially if it is accompanied by a fever, a visit to emergency care is warranted.

Diarrhea accompanied by dehydration

When baby has diarrhea for more than 24 hours, it's time to go to emergency care

via Pexels / William Fortunato

Although diarrhea is not an experience that everyone wants, for a baby it is not only unpleasant, but it can be life threatening.

According to Food and drug administration, it doesn’t take long for a baby to become dehydrated when he has diarrhea. Within hours, a baby’s heart rate may speed up, urination and tears may stop, insomnia may set in, followed shortly by irritability.

So if babies have diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours, they must be seen by a doctor, according to the organization. If one is not available, it is necessary to visit emergency care.

Crying inconsolable

When a normally happy and laughing baby starts to cry inconsolably for no reason and no reason can be determined, there may be a problem that requires medical attention.

Babies don’t cry if there isn’t some kind of physical or emotional discomfort, especially inconsolable crying. If after going through the list of obvious causes of crying and trying what would usually calm your baby down, nothing bad can be determined, it may be time to go to emergency care.

NEXT: 10 Most Common Illnesses In Babies With A One-Year-Old Contract

Source: Seattle Children’s, MedicalNewsToday, Doctors Health Press, WebMD, Centers for Disease Control, Coastal Urgent Care Baton Rouge, Food and Drug Administration

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